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Crystal Tears: Generation X

Generation X is the second album from Greek power metal quartet, however one significant change from their first release is the addition of vocalist Ian Parry who is already well known for his work with Elegy, Vengeance, Ayreon and Hammerhead (among others). For some Parry's expressive, looser take on Ronnie James Dio's delivery style will be reason enough to invest in Generation X and while Crystal Tears make no attempt to reinvent the genre, musically they hit the mark more often than not as well.

Describing the music on Generation X as power metal is both spot on and under selling the band at the same time. In general songs like "Empty Paradise" and "Rock Until We Fall" are fist pumping, foot stomping power metal standards that over flow with energy and spirit. However delve a little deeper and the odd progressive moment nudges into view and the majority of the songs have a deep rooted melody that sometimes can be omitted from run of the mill power metal. That said when the guitars really dominate and take centre stage, the intensity can sometimes overwhelm and make the sound a little one dimensional. Where Crystal Tears really thrive is when Parry's emotive delivery is allowed a touch more space to breath and the likes of the multi-paced "In The Beginning" allows the musical theme to mature through a slow steady build into a fast and furious mid section before the brooding outro once more brings the tempo down. Parry holds court throughout the different stages with command and authority and really raises the song to a higher level. This ability is also evident during "Rock Until We Fall" where he utilises every inch of his vocal range to give the most expressive performance on the album.

Generation X is not an album that will blow you away, however it contains just enough diversity to keep the interest and as said Parry is a great acquisition for the band and with him in the line up, there's enough talent elsewhere here to suggest that they could take a step into the top division with their next effort.


Track Listing
1. Inner Spirit
2. Heroes
3. Nightmare Serenade
4. Empty Paradise
5. Crystal Tears
6. In The Beginning
7. Rock Until We Fall
8. Predators
9. Flesh 'n' Bone
10. The X Generation

Added: June 16th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 3031
Language: english

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Crystal Tears: Generation X
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-16 14:07:03
My Score:

Crystal Tears are a power metal band hailing from the island of Greece. The band formed in 1997 but did not release their first album Choirs Of Immortal until 2006. If European power metal is what you like than this is the album for you. Replacing original singer Natasa Pandreia is Ian Parry, former singer of the Dutch power metal band Elegy. Joining Parry are Dimitris Goutziamanis (guitar), Stratos Dionisopoulos (bass) and Chrisafis Tantanozis (drums).

Parry has one of the most distinct voices in the metal genre and he leaves his stamp all over Generation X. Besides lead vocals he also did the vocal arrangements and wrote the song lyrics. He has a gravelly delivery that I have always found endearing and he sounds better than ever on Generation X. The guitar playing of Goutziamanis is also a highlight as he fills the CD with chugging riffs and ultra fast lead work. He also knows his way around a good melody which helps to give some of these songs more staying power.

The hard driving power metal of "Inner Spirit" opens the CD in fine fashion and while the song is heavy there are some slow burning riffs that add variation. "Heroes" features hook laden guitar riffs and dramatic 'oohs' and 'aahs' upping the melodic quotient, making this one of Parry's best performances. Dark subject matter permeates the heavy "Nightmare Serenade", a song about a crazed psychopath. Parry sings "His deeds he knows not what he's done/Or when his crazed desires begun/The skill in which he carves their flesh/A mystery only he must confess." I love the well placed screams that only add to the scare factor. The CD also includes a bonus video clip of "Nightmare Serenade" with an eerie beginning that equally matches the song's disturbing lyrics.

Other notables include the title track with a lovely acoustic guitar intro that is just a little sad and the heavy metal anthem "Rock Until We Fall", a song that is just pure fun.

It should also be noted the production quality is very good with crystal clear instrumentation and nice dynamics. Album artwork is by Meran Karanitant who did a good job as the CD is nicely packaged although some of the song lyrics are rather hard to read but this is only a minor complaint.

I quite enjoyed Generation X. Anyone who is interested in power metal and appreciates Ian Parry's vocal talents will do the same.




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