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Crystal Viper
Queen of the Witches
Type: CD
Company: AFM
Release: 2017
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Consistent Teutonic glory from Poland's premier true metal act
'Queen of the Witches' is the sixth album to date from these Polish nomads. The group have found what looks to be a permanent home with Germany's AFM Records. This new release is the fourth collaboration with the label after two stints in the 00's with Karthago. Nothing much has changed as 'Queen' follows the same formula as the records before it. That's a positive considering just how solid the back catalog is for the 'Viper. Teutonic metal glory runs rampant on stormy opener "The Witch is Back", ear-marked with a scream from lead singer/guitarist Marta Gabriel. It's double-bass charge is punctuated by Gabriel's authority on the mic and the fast-paced rhythm. "When the Sun Goes Down" is a slower-paced anthem with a larger bassline backed by a simplistic beat. It's basic 80's driven metal that works perfectly in the arsenal. I love the intensity and gang-vocal chants on the Running Wildish "Do or Die". "Burn My Fire Burn" possesses that NWOBHM charm, which is fitting considering the band includes a cover of new wave staple "See You in Hell" (Grim Reaper). Two ballads are thrown on to mix it up – "Trapped Behind" and "We Will Make It Last Forever". Overall, this one will probably make my top 20 of the year.

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise 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.

All reviews for Crystal Viper:
LegendsCrystal Viper
Eric Compton2/24/2011
Metal NationCrystal Viper
Hail and Kill1/7/2010
Queen of the WitchesCrystal Viper
Eric Compton3/20/2017

All interviews for Crystal Viper:
Marta GabrielCrystal ViperMiguel Blardony1/7/2010

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