Blood, Guts, & Glory
Cryonic Temple - Blood, Guts, & Glory 2003 Limb Music/SPV 2003 reviewed by: EC
|Track Listing 1. Morphine Dreams |
2. Mercenaries Of Metal
4. Swords And Diamonds
5. Thunder And Lightning
6. Story Of The Sword, The
7. Long Live The Warriors
8. Triumph Of Steel
9. Midas Touch, The - (Samural)
10. Through The Skies
What a perfectly titled album, with "Blood, Guts, & Glory" the suitable moniker for Cryonic Temple's powerful sound, a rich mix of all things teutonic and heavy. One would think of bands such as Hammerfall, Paragon, and Wizard, with the group rehashing the European metal style of today, tight, fast, crisp, and to the point. Cryonic Temple leave nothing on the table here, cashing in the chips for a fast forward approach, no keys, no silly spoken narration, and the choir voices to a minimum. This is how I like it, fresh, simple, and easy to follow. Unlike Rhapsody and later-day Blind Guardian, this album moves to a more elementary approach, one that I feel suits most fans of this genre.
Sweden's Cryonic Temple (not to be confused with Cyclone Temple!) return with their second album to date, the follow-up to the group's debut "Chapter 1". This album finds the Swedes with a bigger budget, and it certainly shows with the killer packaging from one Marc Sasso (Dio, Cage, Hard Echo), and the fine production by the band. Really in all honesty, Cryonic Temple play this album in true Limb Music fashion, complete with the Helloween speed racers like "Inquistion" and "Swords And Diamonds", with vocalist Glen Metal sounding alot like Hammerfall frontman Joacim Cans, sort of throwing the voice out "middle of the road", playing it safe but taking the turns fast enough to seem out of control at times.
Stellar opener "Mercenaries Of Metal" is one solid, fluid motion, wasting very little energy on anything other than full speed gallop. Think of a heavier Dungeon if you will, crossed with the tight, speed riffs of Paragon. "Long Live The Warriors" stomps through Manowar and Majesty, with one simple up-front riff that just rips ass. The battle rages with Running Wild fury, with "Triumph Of Steel" simply blazing by, proving that these guys can play. I find this sort of stuff mesmerizing in every way really. Nothing completely innovative, but if done loud and heavy enough, it works for me.
Cryonic Temple have established themselves with this new offering. Breaking down the simple Helloween formula, but adding in that "over the top" Manowar, Paragon, Grave Digger type sound. This stuff can just be thrown in, turned up, and 80% of the time will still crush the competition. I'm still not sure why Hammerfall and Dream Evil get all of Sweden's spotlight, as Nocturnal Rites, Cryonic Temple, and Wizard show they are the true masters of their domain. This is as good an album as the album cover. Few bands can get past their cool album covers. See Tankard, Holy Mother, etc.