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Crystallion - A dark enchanted crystal night 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-14-08


1. A dark enchanted crystal night
2. Guardians of the sunrise
3. Visions
4. Eternia
5. Crystal clear
6. Tears in the rain
7. Dragonheart
8. Burning bridges
9. The final revelation

Crystallion is a fairly new German band and their first full-length, 2006's 'A dark enchanted crystal night', is a well-balanced power metal attack and the band is definitely a strong contender in the genre. Their music brings many bands to mind, and therefore they will appeal to just about every power metal fan. For starters, I hear the popular style of Sonata Arctica, Cardiant, Stratovarius, Supreme Majesty, Dreamtale, Moonville, and so on. Next, I hear the slightly different style of Icewind, Heavenly, Emerald Sun, Helloween and Sweden's Insania. Finally, Hammerfall and similar bands like Dreamland and Full Strike come to mind, though this last group is probably what's least present of the 3 styles I hear.

Vocally, there's no mistaking that Thomas Strubler is a power metal vocalist, and his clear and slightly-accented vocals will satisfy strong lovers of power metal. He's far from one of the best out there however, and his range is certainly limited, but I personally think he does a great job. Especially considering this is not a well-established band with many years of experience, the surrounding musicians are very talented. Although the band features 2 fantastic guitar players (Patrick Juhasz and Manfred Stief) and a bass player (Stefan Gimpi), the keyboard player (Manuel Schallinger) stands out the most to me. Not only does he provide a slightly symphonic/atmospheric presence with his background keys, he also pulls off some excellent solos and there are even a few neo-classical segments.

One of the things I like most about this debut is that there aren't any weak songs. This is especially impressive because all of the songs are quite long, ranging from 5 to 7 minutes, with exception of the short intro/instrumental opener "A dark enchanted crystal night" and the final song "The final revelation", which is over 9 minutes long. The songwriting is strong too, as the tempo is successfully mixed up enough to keep the interest of the listener throughout the entirety of each and every song. In addition, this is a very melodic CD and there are some memorable choruses as well. My favorite song is definitely track 4 "Eternia" (that's all-around fantastic!), but the sing-a-long track 8 "Burning bridges" isn't too far behind.

In the end, 'A dark enchanted crystal night' isn't going to offer up anything new to power metal fans, but it's surely recommended to those who are major lovers of the genre. I must admit that the CD hasn't totally amazed me and I don't crave it like a do those extra-special CDs that come around every so often, but this could easily be described as great, strong and enjoyable, from a highly promising band that I'm very curious to hear more of in the future.




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