Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


Crystal Eyes - Vengeance Descending 2003 - Reviewed by EC

Track Listing
1 - Vengeance Descending
2 - Highland Revenge
3 - Child Of Rock
4 - Mr. Failure
5 - Dream Chaser
6 - The Wizard’s Apprentice
7 - Metal Crusade
8 - The Beast In Velvet
9 - Heart Of The Mountain
10 - Oblivion In The Visionary World
Sweden's sensational power metal act Crystal Eyes have hit the metal market again, this time delivering their third record and first for new label DMP called "Vengeance Descending". I've followed this band throughout their early career and I will have to say this new offering is their best work to date.

When the band's debut, "World Of Black & Silver", came out on ABS in 1999, I knew these guys were serious contenders for the power metal crown. I thought the vocals could use some help and the production certainly could have been better, but all in all that album was absolutely killer. Think of a more metallic Stratovarius meeting a more diverse Gamma Ray. The band hit the studio again in 2000, this time releasing the follow-up album entitled "In Silence They March" (killer album cover!) on Shark Records. This was somewhat of a step down in my opinion. The songwriting certainly wasn't there, and the direction of the songs was almost silly at times.

Well I guess the band knew what they had to do. They went back into the studio a third time and created their best effort, "Vengeance Descending". From what I have read, Crystal Eyes were not very pleased with their first two records, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. They switched record labels to LMP for starters, then took on the mammoth task of creating their own studio to record the new album. The result is stunning. This album just smokes from beginning to end. If you love European power metal, and God knows I do, then this is right up your alley. If you really don't care for this genre, then I suggest you stay away because Crystal Eyes really stay true to this sound, not really bending the boundaries at all, just happy going at it full force and playing what they like...epic European power metal.

Songs like "Mr. Failure", "Metal Crusade", and the title track are done just right, adding a bit of this and a dose of that to bring a Helloween, Stratovarius, Judas Priest, Gamma Ray...well you get the point. These guys bring more of the same, but mix it up a bit. I really love those tracks as well as keeper "Child Of Rock", which is more New Wave than anything, reminding me of Chroming Rose crossed with Warlord. Great track to slow things down a notch. A little bit of Grave Digger styled songwriting emerges with "Highland Revenge", which is hands down the best cut on this record. Lost Horizon frontman Daniel Heiman steps in on "The Wizard's Apprentice", and speaking of Chroming Rose, their vocalist swings by for a guest appearance on "The Beast In Velvet".

Every song is magical in its own right, and I must say since I've followed this band since the beginning, I'm very proud of these guys. They have finally fulfilled the expectations that I've had for them since day one. Keep up the great work men!!

Top 25 CD of 2003 in many books I'm sure.


--EC 12.02.03
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: CRYSTAL EYES
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Confessions Of The MakerCrystal Eyes
2005
Eric Compton7/25/2005
Dead City DreamingCrystal Eyes
2006
Vinaya Saksena6/12/2008
KillerCrystal Eyes
2014
Eric Compton8/28/2014
Vengeance DescendingCrystal Eyes
2003
Eric Compton12/2/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: CRYSTAL EYES

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: CRYSTAL EYES
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Mikael DahlCrystal EyesEric Compton5/23/2014


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE POWER STYLED RELEASES:


<< back >>






ERIC COMPTON PICKS
Destrophy
Cry Havoc
One Machine
The Final Cull
Vallenfyre
Splinters
Electric Sister
The Lost Art Of Rock And Roll
Stephen Pearcy
Smash

GREG WATSON PICKS
Next To None
A Light in the Dark
Yesterday's Saints
Generation of Vipers
Descent Into Maelstrom
Descent Into Maelstrom
In This Moment
Blood
The Gentle Storm
The Diary

FRANK HILL PICKS
Oceans of Night
Domain
ASG
Win Us Over
In Flames
The Mirror's Truth
Volbeat
Rock The Rebel / Metal The Devil
Biomechanical
Cannabalised

DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
Alestorm
No Grave But The Sea
Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire
The Ruins of Beverast
Rain Upon The Impure
Wolves in the Throne Room
Black Cascade
Fen
Winter