Released February 27th 2012 on SPV / Steamhammer

Vengeance looked set to conquer the world. With a CBS record deal, a series of top notch albums and an excellent reputation as a live band (somewhat exaggerated in my opinion) they should have taken the late eighties by storm. Didn’t quite pan out as planned… The band sank anonymously after the masterpiece album “Arabia” and the departure of Arjen Lucassen.

Singer Leon Goewie has kept the Vengeance name alive with a revolving lineup of backing musicians.

New album Crystal Eye sounds familiar. Goewie’s voice is instantly identifiable.

The direction hasn’t changed much either : walking the fine line between hard rock and heavy metal. N The songs are catchy but miss some of the refinement and quirks that made the old Vengeance albums stand out. “Crystal Eye” does exude the same sense of optimism that typified the band first time around. Timo Somers, son of deceased guitarist Jan, does a great job on guitars.

There’s no stand out tracks, but there’s no real dogs either.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The last couple of Vengeance albums did absolutely nothing for me, which hurt for an old fan. This album, while not a classic like “Arabia” or “Take It Or Leave It”, does a lot to set things straight.

Rating – 82%
Review by Sancho


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