Album Reviews

Crystal Ball – Dawnbreaker Review

dawnbreaker_cover

Released by: Massacre Records

Release Date: November 29th, 2013

Genre: Melodic/Hard Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/crystalballrocks

 

Line Up:

Steven Mageney – Vocals

Scott Leach – Guitars

Markus Flury – Guitars

Cris Stone – Bass

Marcel Sardella – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Zarathustra

2. Break Of Dawn

3. Anyone Can Be A Hero

4. The Brothers Were Wright

5. Eternal Flame

6. Skin To Skin

7. Walls Fall Down

8. Back For Good

9. Power Pack

10. Stranded

11. Sun Came Out

12. Touch The Sky

13. Bond Of Love

 

You ever listen to one of those metal bands that are pretty competent and do most of the right things but don’t really seem to stand out all that much from the crowd? Swedish hard rock/metal ensemble CRYSTAL BALL, for better or for worse, are such an act. They’ll remind you a lot of BLIND GUARDIAN, DIO, etc., but you’d be hard pressed to remember them later the second a more vibrant act hits your speakers if you’re in Shuffle mode on ITunes.

That aside, the great thing about traditionalist bands that don’t push hard outside the box is that the songs are as reliable as your annual taxes and guaranteed to make you mosh that wimpy haircut you got for Xmas. Hats off to ‘Sun Came Out’ and ‘Walls Fall Down’ for being fun late 80’s sounding romps, as well as the speedier ‘Back For Good’ and the JUDAS PRIEST-ish ‘Power Pack’. Of course, due to none of the material being anything you haven’t heard done better by other groups, ballads like ‘Eternal Flame’ suffer without a giant hook to carry it along. The band isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, and at times I’d even go as far as to say that vocalist STEVEN MAGENEY demonstrates that he’s got a versatile, powerful voice…but it’s all for naught if the material is too by-the-numbers, and that’s holding these guys back from the big big leagues of heavy metal.

Still, there are enough good moments here to recommend to anyone looking to cherry pick a couple of strong headbangers. I’m hoping this excellent group has learned enough from this album and the last couple to give us the killer LP I know they’ve got buried in there somewhere as we head into the second half of the decade. I shall keep my ear to the ground…

 

Written by Derek

Ratings    Derek    7/10

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