January 29, 2021
Author: Erich Robbers aka Kerbinator (Rockcastle Franken)
The next attempt of the Polish band Crystal Viper around front woman Marta Gabriel to climb to the top of traditional heavy metal with a new album. Album number eight is in the starting blocks, is called “The Cult” and has H.P. Lovecraft themes as its lyrical content. Having ventured more into the melodic corner of heavy metal with their last albums, Crystal Viper return to the US metal-influenced world of traditional steel with “The Cult”.
New on board with the Poles is drummer Cederick Forsberg, otherwise the line-up has remained the same. “The Cult” starts with a playful and symphonic intro (“Providence”), which at first suggests a continuation of the recent melodic past. But the opener and title track already disproves this. Speedy riffs of the two guitarists Andy Wave and Eric Juris, as well as the grandiose power voice of Marta Gabriel push the song in the direction of strong power metal meets Iron Maiden. I don’t want to make fun, but Marta sounds like our Doro Pesch always wanted to sound but couldn’t really manage it. Very strong, what this lady elicits from her vocal cords. An immediate declaration of war on all those dispensable tearjerkers who have taken up residence in the rock scene in the meantime.
The songs on “The Cult” can be described as epic in some places. “Whispers From Beyond”, for example, first shines with a sluggish riff, then grooves like a pig, and finally Marta lets out some really high screams. New drummer Cederick often relies on massive playing, which gives the songs additional pressure. The fact that Crystal Viper are always developing in the area of song writing is evident in “Sleeping Giants” and “Flaring Madness”, both of which create a slightly folky mood with their chilling rhythms, polyphonic vocals and various oh-oh-oh choruses. Also, a sound that suits Crystal Viper well. Nevertheless, much of the sound is in the realm of fast (power) heavy metal with a US influence. Just listen to the fast, straight “Down In The Crypt” with swirling guitar runs. Or the groovy, fast twin leads bullet “Lost In The Dark”. All songs that should finally establish Crystal Viper in the upper regions of classic traditional metal.
With the Satan cover “Trial By Fire” as LP bonus and King Diamond’s “Welcome Home” as CD bonus, they have chosen two fine pieces. Surprisingly, the latter also works excellently with Marta’s voice. As if it had been interpreted by the King himself. And Andy LaRoque even took over the guitar. Awesome.
Unfortunately, the upcoming tour with Raven and Wolf will certainly have to be cancelled. But otherwise no pandemic in the world seems to be able to stop Crystal Viper when you listen to “The Cult”. The guys and the girl simply belong in the field of powerful metal and it is definitely good that they have dropped over melodic things on the new album. A real highlight of the still early music year.
CRYSTAL VIPER – The Cult (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO): https://youtu.be/iZddid_gNpc
Marta Gabriel – Vocals, Guitars
Andy Wave – Guitars
Eric Juris – Guitars
Blaze Grygiel – Bass
Cederick Forsberg – Drums
Label: Listenable Records
Out: January 29th, 2021
Playing time: 38:52 / 46:22 (with bonus)
- The Cult
- Whispers From Beyond
- Down In The Crypt
- Sleeping Giants
- Forgotten Land
- Asenath Waite
- The Calling
- Flaring Madness
- Lost In The Dark
- Trial By Fire (LP Bonus Track)
- Welcome Home (CD Bonus Track)