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Vengeance
Crystal Eye

Company: SPV
Release: 2012
Genre: Hard Rock, traditional
Rating: 2.5
Reviewer: EC

  • Very bland



  • Its hard to imagine this is the ninth studio record from Dutch traditionalists Vengeance and even harder to fathom that "Crystal Eye" marks the third release since the band reformed in 2006. The band has been a powerhouse of hard rock and traditional metal dating back to the early 80s, even seeing a run on CBS back in the day and daunted as a rare export that could be huge in the US. It never happened and vocalist Leon Gowie became a drywall hanger. Then in 2006 the band reformed and released the pleasant "Back In The Ring" and follow-up "Soul Collector" in 2009.

    Once again the band pairs with producer Michael Voss (Mad Max) and looks for that solid polished hard rock sound reminiscent of Van Halen meets Accept. The record has some emotional meaning to the group; this was the final work recorded by long time guitarist Jan Somers. The talented axe man had been with the group since record three in 1988. He died of a heart attack in January of 2011 and there is a fitting solo that Somers recorded live on the end of this album as a tribute to his legacy.

    "Crystal Eye" is a very bland record for me personally and just has no lift in the songs to really make them exceptional or even stand out amongst the group's prior work. I swear that this album is a dead pan ringer for the complacent and downright lazy songwriting that Saxon was dealing with in the late 80s. With terrible songs and names like "Bad To The Bone", "Barbecue" (no shit) and awful ballad "Missing" one has to wonder why Gowie and company felt the need to release some of this. You can hear some vintage sound in "Me And You", the light hearted "Five Knuckle Shuffle" and "Desperate Women" to prove the guys still have the hard rock intensity and play to perfection with Gowie's strong vocals and charismatic style. I really wish there was more here to lift this album up but the title track, "Promise Me" and "Shock Me Now" just fall flat. I can hear everything from the bluesy, generic riffs of AC/DC to bad Scorpions and this really isn't the calling card of a band like Vengeance. Let's hope they can regroup and put writing and substance ahead of fluff.


    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: VENGEANCE
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Back In The RingVengeance
    2006
    Eric Compton9/8/2006
    Crystal EyeVengeance
    2012
    Eric Compton7/14/2012
    Soul CollectorVengeance
    2009
    Eric Compton3/6/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: VENGEANCE

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: VENGEANCE
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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