Tuesday, April 11, 2017

review: Cryonic Temple

Cryonic Temple
Into The Glorious Battle
Scarlet Records
Release: 21 April 2017
Cryonic Temple returns with a statement album after years of studio silence. Metal Archives shows that their previous album is from 2008. They began in 1996 and had four albums released before this new one, which is an affirmation of power metal. The loyalists of traditional metal music melodic forms will consider this work by the Swedes as a great example of the genre in 2017. Their objective is to remind their supporters that the band is very much alive, contrary to how it may have seemed for a while, due to the personnel changes over the years.
There are 13 songs that illustrate the main ideas of glorious power metal, beginning with speedfest numbers with thrash-level velocities and uptempo rockers contagious from start to end, forwards and backwards, right side up and upside down. These Swedes have no shame, no shame at all; they want to take over the world right this minute and they seek to convince anyone within striking distance. They take the listener from the highest of highs to the agony and melancholy of the power ballads (three of them, including the closing track as an epic conclusion to the album) that will make you take out your lighter and wave your arms side to side. War, victory, defeat, death, solitude, fury, consolation, joy and desperation, it's all in this tour de force of an album.
The new album shows the band as a major exponent of European power metal. The sound on this album incorporates keyboards as a strong background component that smoothes out the music and adds a permanent element of melody. The guitar work delivers everything expected in this field: fast riffs, uptempo rhythms, fast solos and catchy melodies. In addition, there are some bluesy elements during the power ballads, amongst other places. Everything you want in power metal guitar is present. The bass guitar is not very audible, but "Prepare for War" certainly shows the bass guitar. The drums do not sound like real drums due to the clean production. You can't hear much in the way of cymbal work and the double bass is clicky, as it tends to be in so much of modern metal genres, unfortunately.
The singing is done very well and appropriately for the genre in the sense that it is melodic with both (1) a massive appeal potential and (2) without all the annoying things associated with singing. (1) The singing is very friendly to the ear, in a way that is pop and good for radio, not just for heavy metal audiences. Anyone who hears the power ballad "The War Is Useless" will find the singing to be pleasant and perfect for singing along. (2) The singing is a type of midrange vocal style, but with enough of an upper range to be totally in the territory of melody. There are no forced and out-of-place shrill high notes that some people dislike about traditional metal singing.
Trivia. The band shows some quick flashes of homage to heavy metal and to 80s pop. These include vocal phrases like "steel meets steel," quick keyboards phrasings that recall the power metal renaissance in the 90s, like HammerFall and Edguy. Some of the keyboards parts recall 80s pop, of course, as is usual with power metal. In certain spots, they might be channeling Europe or Cutting Crew. They also could be invoking a bit of Gun n Roses’ “November Rain” in the aforementioned power ballad “The War Is Useless.”
The work is a rebirth for the band. They took their time with this album and the results speak for themselves. Power metal supporters will do themselves a great favor to hear this album in its totality. It should not take more than a few listens to begin understanding that is a strong return for the band in all the songs.
Go here to hear a new song now before the album is out.
facebook.com/CryonicTemple/?ref=ts
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review by MMB

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