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Crystal Viper
Metal Nation

Company: High Roller Records/Spiritual Beast
Release: 2009
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Hail and Kill

  • Unadulterated power metal

  • If the future of Dungeons and Drangons metal were in the hands of Crystal Viper, then the genre's fate is secured. Fronted by a chick with more 'oomph' In her voice than most pseudo-gothic Nightwish clones, Crystal Viper's music is an onslaught of slaying guitar bombast and huge choruses driven by edge-of-your seat tempos. The band may have long professed eternal fealty to metal's 80's golden age, yet their brand of steel does hew closer to latter-day Gamma Ray, Doro, and Rhapsody. What sets them apart from every fruity practitioner is they avoid the symphonic touches in favor of blazing guitar pyrotechnics that would make Dragonforce blink.

    The absolute cheese reigns at the start of the album where an intro brings the listener to ye olden times of battles and wondrous magicry. This little sound-laden audio noodle pulls in the first song and title track where Crystal Viper deliver the goods with refreshing earnestness. Their lyrics might have been taken straight from the book of Hammerfall, but this quintet aren't two bit musicians--they have an ear for memorable song craft and work lyrical spells on each chorus. 'Bringer of Light,' 'The Anvil of Hate,' and 'Zombie Lust' are worthy tunes shimmering with power and blessed by the kind of musicianship that keeps these Vipers from sounding too much like every Helloween wannabe out there. Even Marta Gabriel herself belts out lines like an energized Doro Pesch on songs whose themes are grim enough to give the band the same street cred as 3 Inches Of Blood.

    Unfortunately, an awful (and obligatory) 'ballad' titled 'Her Crimson Tears' stews for a good minute or three before the band shift to Manowar mode on 'Legions of Truth' that's followed by the sandals and leather anthem 'Gladiator (Die By The Blade).' To their audience's surprise, Crystal Viper pull a 180 and hit the gas for the white-knuckle finisher 'Agents of Steel' whose frenetic tempo almost passes for thrash metal. Once it wraps in a blaze of glory, your ears feel like they've just been raped by unadulterated power metal. It leaves the listener either disgusted by the aural experience or begging for a second serving of righteous cheese.

    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 reviews for Crystal Viper:
    LegendsCrystal Viper
    Eric Compton2/24/2011
    Metal NationCrystal Viper
    Hail and Kill1/7/2010
    Queen of the WitchesCrystal Viper
    Eric Compton3/20/2017

    All interviews for Crystal Viper:
    Marta GabrielCrystal ViperMiguel Blardony1/7/2010

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