CRYSTAL BALL – Crystallizer +2 [Ltd. edition digipak] (2018)
Considering Swiss rockers CRYSTAL BALL started life out as a covers band named Cherry Pie, they have certainly come a long way. Constant consistency is the key for this 5-piece, and “Crystallizer” is the band’s tenth full-length recording, and die-hard fans of this well-polished style of melodic metal / hard rock will not be disappointed.
Crystal Ball hold not last long on preliminaries. Only a short fade in and already the guitars bang out of the speakers. Already with the first sounds of the title track you are really blown away. The riffs lead to headbanging, the drums are whistling, and Steven Mageney sings in a pleasantly scratchy voice. The guitar fraction is allowed to prove their skills in a solo.
The rhythmic “Curtain Call” captivates with its catchy sing-along chorus and certainly will be a live favorite.
With “Alive For Evermore” the album really picks up the pace. Here, the percussion of Marcel Sardella is full of bite, and the vocals soar. As is ‘S.O.S.’ with its galloping entrance and hefty bass licks from Cris “Iron” Stone.
There’s an AORish feel to “Gentleman’s Agreement”, while former Accept drummer, turned producer Stefan Kaufmann guests on guitar (an instrument he adopted in U.D.O.) for three tunes, as the ingenious guitar solo to “Crazy In The Night”.
And the two ballads of the album “Let Her Go With Love” and “Exit Wound” (Digipak Bonus Track) provide points of rest, but nevertheless powerful instrumentation.
Closer “Symphony Of Life” is really interesting, which features vocalist Steven Mageney’s vocal humming in three parts, sharp riffs and a catchy rock groove propel the song with some pompy orchestral strings.
“Crystalizer” is completely faithful to Crystal Ball trademark style: entertaining melodic metal infected with hard rock groove and sweetened with AORish harmonies. The songs are varied and have everything what the melodious metal heart desires, power ballads, great anthems and reallly polished production.
Musically, Crystal Ball 2018 are on par with their Swiss colleagues of Krokus, Gotthard or Shakra.
02. Curtain Call
03. Alive For Evermore
05. Crazy In The Night
06. Gentleman’s Agreement
07. Let Her Go With Love
08. Beauty In The Beast
09. Death On Holy Ground
10. Satisfaction Guaranteed (Bonus Track)
11. Exit Wound (Bonus Track)
12. Dusty Deadly
13. Symphony Of Life
Tony “T.C.” Castell – Guitars (ex- Krokus)
Marcel Sardella – Drums (ex- Cherry Pie)
Scott Leach – Guitars (ex- Cherry Pie)
Steven Mageney – Vocals
Cris “Iron” Stone – Bass
Stefan Kaufmann – guest Guitar