Crosswind - Opposing forces 4/5

Reviewed: 7-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Up from the pits
2. Nephilim rising
3. Conspiring tongues
4. Weavers of nightmares
5. A moment of clarity
6. Awakening
7. Walk in the shadows
8. Eye of the storm
9. Virtue and malice
10. 300
11. March of the slaves


For those who love pure, high speed power metal delivered with uncompromisingly polished vocals, this Greek band is a must have. While I’m increasingly reluctant to expand into new bands, what with the unconsumable amount of material released by bands I already love, I never regretted picking up this CD after checking out their Myspace samples. If Helloween’s 'Keeper of the seven keys' and Viper’s 'Theatre of fate' were standout CDs that brought glory into your life, perhaps piqued again when you heard Lanfear’s 'Another golden rage', it’s time for reliving that newfound power once again.

Although this is CD is actually a combination of 2 demos, that status is only reflected in its length and continuity, because the quality of the songs and the production is never in question. In fact, the energy, sound quality, and CD artwork leave many more conventional full-length CDs in shame.

The CD contains 7 real original songs, plus an enjoyable cover of Queensryche’s “Walk in the shadows”. Singer Kyriakos Vasdokas is tremendous, not only are his vocals superb in the classic Tate/Kiske power metal mold, but his enunciation and clarity is admirable, and he also plays guitar. He and guitarist Leon Tsorbatzoglou keep up an unrelenting pace of power metal riffs and leads, when not doling out a high octane solo, and is all backed by a high velocity rhythm section in Vasilis Kyrkos on bass and Bill Mitsaris on drums.

If one is looking for limitations, it is a relatively short CD, but, under the current deluge of metal, I no longer consider this a problem at all, and this is certainly enough to be considered an 80s full-length CD, but be aware there are a lot longer CDs out there. It should also be noted that their speedy tempo means that the original songs all essentially have the same feeling, but I can’t really find fault in a consistency in the style I love, and I know many who will consider the fact that the tempo never drops from the redline to be an unmitigated asset. And, once again, there is that magickal feeling of fresh, almost naivete, from a band’s first couple of releases that just can't always be recaptured with a veteran band.

The band is proof that you can still hear from a new act out there, which keeps the music in the style you love, that still hits your heart with solid, unrelenting joy. From start to end, this is just a great, thoroughly enjoyable CD that reminds you of that nostalgic moment you had 20 odd years ago when you’d discover a new band, tear off the cassette wrapping paper, and be instantly captivated knowing you’d found another great one.



CRAIG




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