CRYSTAL VIPER - Possession

Crystal Viper - Possession

10 songs
45:02 minutes
***** ***


Crystal Viper are a Polish metal band which was founded in 2003 and has been busy ever since. Possession is already their fifth album. The focal point of the band that plays very traditional heavy metal is their frontwoman and guitarist Marta Gabriel who has a very strong voice despite her fragile looks.

After the short, symphonically minded intro, things start right away with the forward going Voices In My Head. Marta sings in an untamed fashion, and one keeps wondering if she never has to stop for breaths. Next to her normal vocal range, she also masters the high registers. Parallels to metal ladies like Doro Pesch and Ann Boleyn are in order, but I guess that is hardly a complaint. The album contains a couple of faster tracks that are pure fun to listen to because of their sheer straightforwardness. Then there is the mid-tempo component which is also an important part of the band’s repertoire. Take for instance Prophet Of The End, dealing with exorcism. The band did a professional video clip which I is definitely very watchable on YouTube. Other highlights are Julia Is Possessed, coming with guest vocals by Desaster frontman Satanic, and You Will Die, You Will Burn. Especially during their quieter moments, Crystal Viper develop a sense of harmonies not unlike Iron Maiden. The band also finds a lot of room for guitar solos that always are perfectly integrated into the song. After the intro and eight regular tracks the CD ends with a cover version of Riot’s Thundersteel, which sounds here just as great as the source material. The only track that left me a little let down, as it feels less structured than the other songs, is Fight Evil With Evil, despite guest vocals by Jag Panzer’s Harry Conklin. Another slight flaw is the production which could have been more powerful to allow the songs to unravel all of their power.

Despite these few minor complaints, Possession, which by the way is a concept album about a girl possessed by a demon, is anything but a bad record. Crystal Viper therefore are not only one of the best female fronted metal bands, but even one of the more exciting bands in the current traditional heavy metal movement. They should not let themselves be discouraged by anyone or anything and follow consequently their chosen path.

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