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Crimson Glory: In Dark Places...1986-2000 (box set)

Metal Mind Productions have released this 5 CD box set drawing together all the recorded works of progressive power metal innovators Crimson Glory, titled In Dark Places...1986-2000. It's essentially a great tribute to the late Midnight, Crimson Glory's original singer, who passed away in 2009. Longtime fans of the band who already have these recordings in their original CD formats, can expect a complete remaster job on all 4 albums using tube technology, plus a thick booklet containing all the original lyrics and photos from each individual album, plus a background essay on each album which also serves as a nice history of the band.

Certainly, any Crimson Glory fan knows all the material here. The debut album was a breath of fresh air upon its release in 1986, filled with blistering melodic metal tracks such as "Valhalla", "Dragon Lady", "Azrael", "Queen of the Masquerade", and "Heart of Steel". Midnight's soaring, high pitched vocals drew comparisons to both Rob Halford and Geoff Tate, while the twin guitar riffage of Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson never failed to impress. Jump ahead to their sophomore release Transcendence, and the band further developed their 'progressive' edge, as this album has long been considered one of the best of the early prog-metal releases alongside similar albums from Fates Warning and Queensryche. "Lady of Winter", "Painted Skies", "Where Dragons Rule", "Red Sharks", "Lonely", and the title track focused on melodic, yet more technical material that merged thrash, power & prog metal.

Things took a decisive turn though on 1991's Strange and Beautiful, as the band toned down their metallic approach and went for a more modern hard rock sound mixed with the clear influence of Led Zeppelin. Behind the scenes there was a power struggle between singer Midnight, who wanted to create mellower music, and the rest of the band, who were not ready to let go of their metal roots. Needless to say, the album confused fans and critics alike, and Midnight soon left the band. After replacing him with new vocalist Wade Black, Crimson Glory returned to even heavier sounds on 1998's Astronomica. "War of the Worlds", "Edge of Forever", and "New World Machine" are fine examples of aggressive power/prog metal, and Black is a fine singer, but many fans still wanted Midnight. Attempts were made by the band to get Midnight back in the fold, and it did happen a few times, but nothing ever lasted long enough to allow them to get into the studio and put together a new album. Sadly, the singer passed away in 2009 of organ failure, so the long awaited reunion will never come to pass.

Metal Mind's box set also contains a fifth CD of bonus material that came on the Astronomica re-release, which includes some great live material with Midnight on vocals. Ripping versions of "Dragon Lady", "Painted Skies", and "Queen of the Masquerade" are absolutely worth hearing if you don't have that earlier reissue. My one complaint here is that the actual box is kind of cheap and flimsy, and each digipack is completely bare bones, as all the liner notes, lyrics, photos, etc., are located in the booklet. The sound on all CDs however is awesome, so if you are a fan but already have all these releases in previous editions, it's a smart upgrade for the remaster job alone. End result though is a fine tribute to one of progressive metal's most beloved singers, who left us way too soon.

Track Listing
CD 1 - "Crimson Glory"
01. Valhalla
02. Dragon Lady
03. Heart Of Steel
04. Azrael
05. Mayday
06. Queen Of The Masquerade
07. Angels Of War
08. Lost Reflection
Bonus track:
09. Dream Dancer

CD 2 - "Transcendence"
01. Lady Of Winter
02. Red Sharks
03. Painted Skies
04. Masque Of The Red Death
05. In Dark Places
06. Where Dragons Rule
07. Lonely
08. Burning Bridges
09. Eternal World
10. Transcendence
Bonus Tracks:
11. Lonely (remix)
12. Lonely (videoclip)

CD 3 - "Strange And Beautiful"
01. Strange And Beautiful
02. Promise Land
03. Love And Dreams
04. The Chant
05. Dance On Fire
06. Song For Angels
07. In The Mood
08. Starchamber
09. Deep Inside Your Heart
10. Make You Love Me
11. Far Away
Bonus Track:
12. The Chant (videoclip)

CD 4 - "Astronomica"
01. March To Glory (instrumental)
02. War Of The Worlds
03. New World Machine
04. Astronomica
05. Edge Of Forever
06. Touch The Sun
07. Lucifer's Hammer
08. The Other Side Od Midnight
09. Cyber-Christ
10. Cydonia

CD 5 - "Astronomica"
01. War Of The Worlds (remake)
02. Astronomica (demo version)
03. Touch The Sun (demo version)
04. Edge Of Forever (demo version) (bonus track)
05. Dragon Lady (live)
06. Eternal World (live)
07. Painted Skies (live)
08. Queen Of The Masquerade (live)
09. Lost Reflection (live)

Added: November 21st 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3608
Language: english

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