a l b u m r e v i e w s


CRYSTAL BALL / IN THE BEGINNING
LABEL: POINT MUSIC/AOR HEAVEN
OVERALL: 81%
Produced by: Tommy Newton
  1. Twilight Zone
  2. Leave Me Alone
  3. Shake Me
  4. Lay Down The Law
  5. Me And You
  6. Take Me Down
  7. Promised Land
  8. A Million Years
  9. Magic
  10. Fire Still Burns
I was pretty surprised by these guys, they really have a good sound here.
This is totally European flavored hard rock, with a very minor touch of progressive thrown in. Not quite Dream Theater mind you, but plenty of twirling keyboards and a few good time changes to break songs up.
There is also a healthy mix of US stadium rock in the guys sound.
I am not surprised to see one of the AOR labels didn't pick this up, as they all have their stylistic niche - and this fits none of them.
But I thought a label like USG might have. This is only Point Music and AOR Heaven's good fortune. For they have a strong release on offer here.
Big traditional hard rock songs, with punching guitars, huge choruses and hooks a plenty fill this album. The vocals run the gauntlet from the low raspy drawl, to the traditional metal scream!
The songs vary themselves nicely also. For example Twilight Zone and Magic are hard rocking, progressive in feel and big guitar/keyboard tracks.
Shake Me is a total guitar dominated rock anthem and Me & You is a great acoustic driven anthem-rock ballad.
Lay Down The Law then returns to the progressive heaviness of the opening two tracks.
I think I have said enough.
You will need some degree of love for the European sound to fully appreciate this, but unlike some acts, that sound does not totally dominate.
A little like how Europe crossed over in the 80's. These guys may not be the next Europe right now, but given some time, money and 3 ounces of good luck - they do have a chance of bigger things.
PRODUCTION: 80%SONGS: 78%VIBE: 82%ATTITUDE: 82%
ESSENTIAL FOR: European style hard rock. Classic hard rock fans and some Europe fans.

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