Cresent - s/t 3/5

Reviewed: 6-13-08


1. Freedom rings
2. Forgotten future
3. Bloodlines
4. Last gathering
5. Garden of memories
6. From shadowed places

Cresent is a new power metal band from right here in my home town of Greensboro, North Carolina. They formed in 2000 and released this 's/t' demo in 2006, as their debut. Given that they are in the same town I live in... it took Clint (site manager), who lives in Utah, to point out their existence to me. I guess I am not keeping up like I used to.

For a short 35-minute demo, the production is pretty clear - if a bit plain, which is not unexpected. My main complaint with the production is with the vocals, which at times sound awful. I don't blame the voice of Chris Parrish for this, I just think that the production doesn't do his voice justice. It reminds me a lot of Division's first CD 'Paradise lost' which had a woeful production on the vocals. When I saw Division live, I couldn't believe it was the same singer (the fabulous Scott Stewart). I suspect the same thing is happening here, with the vocals sounding very thin with no bottom end to the tone at all. I think some EQ tweaking would do wonders. (Keep in mind, these complaints are very subjective, and could be do to my warped personal tastes on how I like vocals to sound.) I believe Cresent is already working on their new full-length CD, and I hope they correct this issue with the production.

The songs are in line with what you would expect from a U.S. power metal band. Aggressive, yet with plenty of melodies, and songs that are generally catchy. The band throws in some guitar harmonies that I enjoy as well. The vocals (production issues aside) are very good, and should definitely be checked out by fans of Matt Barlow (Iced Earth). I wouldn't say that Parrish's voice is a close match of Barlow's, but his vocal style reminds me a LOT of Barlow. He has some emotional, low-pitched stuff, and more wailing high-pitched stuff, which reminded me of Barlow straight away. There is some Iced Earth influence in the songwriting too, particularly in the final track "From shadowed places", which has plenty of awesome guitar galloping like Iced Earth or classic Metallica.

My only other gripe with the CD, is that these 6 tracks clock in at over 5 minutes with the final 2 at over 6 and 7 minutes respectively. All of the songs tend to wear out their welcome by the time they end, so some brevity in the songwriting would be helpful. Otherwise, I have enjoyed this demo/debut pretty well, and will be interested to hear how the vocals sound on the new full-length CD. Assuming they correct those problems, Cresent could go on to do great things, as I hear plenty of potential here.




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