Released 27 April 2012 on AFM Records

The Polish bruisers are back! And with every album they’re getting a bit better.

Their last album, “Legends” still left plenty of room for improvement. On “Crimen Excepta”, we’re starting to see the true potential of this band.

Opening track “Witch’s Mark” is a scorching metal track with over the top vocals and plenty of incendiary guitar work. “It’s Your Omen” kicks off with a blatant Maiden style riff. Whoever thought the keyboards were a good idea should be shot though. The keys do work on the King Diamond style intro to “Fire Be My Gates”. Singer Marta has improved quite a lot. Check “Medicus Animarum” for instance.

Crystal Viper doesn’t fall in the same trap most of their European contemporaries blindly stumble into. No happy metal, no triggered bass drums, no plodding, contrived singalongs. Plenty of Iron Maiden influences combined with typical 80s German metal stylings. The songs are fairly strong in general, the musicianship is more than adequate (Andy Wave has a major Dave Murray fetish going on) and production is actually quite good.

After their disastrous live album, I would not have given two cents for this band. But lo and behold, they’re actually quite enjoyable!

Rating – 79%
Review by an open minded Sancho.


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