Hundred Days

Written by: PP on 25/11/2009 21:56:03

Hailing from the state of Bayern in Germany, Crystallion have been around since 2003 and have released two full lengths prior to their newest effort "Hundred Days". The genre is power metal, although the band deviates from the usual trends in the genre by integrating melodic metal and speed metal sounds to their epic soundscapes. Typical to the genre, "Hundred Days" is a concept album, dealing with Napoleon's military career between his return from his first exile on the island of Elba through his legendary defeat at the Battle Of Waterloo all the way until his second exile to St Helene on the Pacific Ocean.

Now if that sort of concept tickles your intellect, then I'll gladly tell you that Crystallion succeed in telling the story rather well on the album. Musicwise, however, Crystallion seem rather content in re-interpreting successful formulas by bands like Helloween, Saidian, Secret Sphere, Stratovarius and perhaps even Gamma Ray instead of spending time on writing original material. It has all been heard so many times before: the colossal echoing soundscape is centered around vocalist Strübler's ability to sing through multiple octaves (=vibrato overload) and the accompanying keyboard melodies that add a semi-symphonic element to the music. The guitars, while occasionally flashy, are your typical run of the mill open strings that you'll have heard on every power metal album for the past 20 years. It's not particularly terrible, but not outright awesome either. The sole highlight of the record can be found on the opening instrumental passage of "Under Heavy Fire", where the guitarist uses Children Of Bodom-esque riffs to awe the listener. Had these been used more often, then we could have something marginally more interesting on offer.

Simply put: "Hundred Days" is an album for the Germans as they tend to adore this sort of stuff while the rest of the world generally passes by as long as the band in question isn't Dragonforce. And I don't blame them because when every band is a rehash of a rehash of a rehash of a rehash, Crystallion being either the latter or the one just before it, you start wondering how the genre still finds enough fans inside one territory to justify any more releases within it.


Download: The Sleeping Giant, Sole Survivors In Ligny, Under Heavy Fire
For the fans of: Helloween, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.10.2009
Dockyard 2

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