Company: Massacre Release: 2014 Genre: Power Reviewer: Eric Compton
Stylishly played heavy metal
Crystal Eyes is soaring at an altitude somewhere around 1978 to 1981. That busy skyline of power metal is eclipsed by the staggering sun of adroitly played new wave. Wolf, Enforcer and most recently The Dagger and Black Trip are retroactively forming the twin guitar fireballs that illuminate metal's stoic past. 'Killer' mostly erases the prissy Euro-power of the band's sound into more traditional antediluvian affairs. This is not the same band high geared to play Helloween and Running Wild again. They have been there, done that, specifically through five prior albums with Dahl (guitar, vocals) fronting and without. This album sees Dahl returning to lead vocalist spot and relishing the role best suited for him. Dahl has the record collection, both as fan collector and professional to bask in the knowledge and expertise of his chosen craft. 'Killer' is presented more in tribute to the new wave as it is indulgence. His vocal spot in a Judas Priest cover band has carried over in spades to this new record. It is stylishly played heavy metal with no qualms and no debate. "Spotlight Rebel" is an enjoyable nod to early 80s Scorpions ("Bad Boys Running Wild") while "Dogs On Holy Ground" flirts with U.F.O and the less Teutonic Accept material ("Midnight Mover"). Opening track 'Killer' is similar to the band's more European pageantry, twin guitar right into a bard-style chorus. My favorite cut is the Gamma Ray styled "Warrior", a really flashy piece that shows Dahl in top form with some higher vocals over introverted writing. Slap the polished production of the famed Fredrik Nordstrom (Dream Evil, Hammerfall, In Flames) and 'Killer' comes out roaring as the best of the band's catalog.