Monday, May 25, 2015

REVIEW : CRYSTAL BALL / Life Rider (2015)

After the very good, with the adding of the a shouter Steven Mageney, "Dawn Breaker" in 2013, the Swiss Melodic Hard 'n' Heavy act of Crystal Ball is back with its 8th official record which is entitled "Life Rider".  This band, in my humble opinion, has nothing to prove to the melodic metal world since their seven, already, albums make Crystal Ball one of Europe's best hard working bands.

With the new opus, "Life Rider", the band take things to a higher level. And I mean that with this new one they achieve to release one of their best albums to date. It includes everything from the band's previous recordings plus a more fresh and updated approach and the result gonna satisfy each and every melodic metal fan out there.

"Mayday" which opens the new album is a true melodic metal monster; big and powerful with a chorus that will make you sing-a-long for days, this track is simply breathtaking! Next, "Eye To Eye" (that features Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast) is just killer! The melody, the harmonies, the arrangements, the chorus, the performances...everything here is flawed to perfection! "Paradise" seems like a leftover from Pink Cream 69's first two albums while in the metallic "Gods Of Rock" we have another strong moment from "Life Rider". In "Bleeding", we have a really interesting and very 'touchy' ballad that features the emotional vocals of Steven Mageney. Check out, also, the up-tempo and in-your-face tune of "Life Rider", which includes a powerful and catchy hook and chorus that send you to hell and back again!

For sure, "Life Rider" is a great and powerful record all the way! Crystal Ball is back to business with a killer album full of passionate performances, a bunch of some impressive rockers, great guitar work and a big and fat sound that will make each and every melodic metal fan very happy! Highly recommended stuff!!!
Rating : 9/10

Track Listing :
1. Mayday!
2. Eye to Eye
3. Paradise
4. Balls of Steel
5. Hold your Flag
6. Gods of Rock
7. Take it All
8. Bleeding
9. Rock of Life
10. Antidote
11. LifeRider
12. Memory Run
13. Sacred Heart (Digital Bonus Track)
14. Sign of the Southern Cross (Digital Bonus Track)
15. Not like you (Digital Bonus Track)

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