Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
6/25/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Groundcrew - Civilizations - 2005 - Self Released

Track Listing
1. Suspend Your Disbelief
2. We Will Follow
3. Gorf
4. Civilization
5. As Above, So Below
6. Subterraneans
7. Evolution
8. My Genesis
9. Artifice
10. Cassiopeia
11. Constellations
Where do these bands keep popping up from? Is there some unsigned hole in the sky, some place where talent and musical ability just seems to keep those lost warriors tucked away, secretly stashing the special forces for just the right crisis in time? Groundcrew, yes, Groundcrew have emerged with one of the finest, original power metal compositions in some time. For those of you bored with the Hammerfalls and Dream Evils of the world (rest assured that I am not), you may need "Civilizations", you may need that extra element, that different musical step to help sustain your power metal heart.

Hailing from Canada, where speed picking is represented by none finer than Annihilator madman Jeff Waters, Groundcrew heat and serve up one mammoth full course meal with their debut record, a scorching shocker that seems to add in just about all of power metal's many universes. From the likes of Finland's spacey regions to Germany's traditional soundscape, from the Swedish grounds to the US classic stylings, this one really runs the full scope of all things slicked up and ready to go. This one is just full on speed and diversity, mixed together to create a fine helping of original power metal. Yes, original power metal, as odd as it may seem is very abundant here. This band is hard to pinpoint really, sort of like Afterworld or Easy Rider mixed with American tendencies like Agent Steel and Savage Grace, with a good sense of experimentation and how far to take it.

You could look at a track like "Gorf" and get a good understanding of the mindset of Groundcrew, their vision to take it one notch further. "Gorf" seems to combine punk, power, hardcore, and death all together into one well stirred blend. With vocalist D.D. Murley in to take vocal duty, the charge is complete and ready for drop off. Really Murley seems to hold it all together, using a voice much like Detroit shock rocker Brian Thomas of Halloween fame. Ryan Tunn is just as sharp as can be on the strings, recalling the finest moments of speedy power metal and using a nice German blade to put away any doubt that this man means business. From faster and faster playing to soaring leads and melody, the axe work is just simply amazing, really awe inspiring if you let it play long enough.

In reality there is nothing more to discuss, I'll just leave you with a vision of speedy power done just right, with enough diversity to keep the home experimenters interested, but never straying from the ultimate prize, to deliver the quality goods. Just like other underground acts that have surprised me through the years (Miles Beyond, Gods Of Fire, Thunderblast, Griffin), Groundcrew seem to play the exact same game. Guess who is watching you, watching and waiting for just the right moment to spring to life and take the metal world by storm?

--EC 05.23.05

Eric Compton6/25/2005


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