Broken Glass

Crises - Broken Glass ©1998 Angular Records
1. Save Me
2. The Blame
3. Am I Awake
4. Crises - Descent Into Paradise
5. The Only One
6. In My Sleep
7. Last Candle
8. Drops Of Rain

When a band releases a debut CD that clocks in at something over seventy minutes, it raises my interest. When one of the tracks is just a few seconds shy of twenty minutes, it really raises my interest. When almost every song remaining is over six minutes long, I cross from interest to a flat out obsession to hear it.

Technically, this is not Crises' debut CD. But it is the first they have released with Angular Records. In 1995 they put out a self-titled demo that I have not heard. However, technicalities aside, this is a very strong debut from a talented five-man band hailing from Germany. Musically it is a very melodic, heavy neo-progressive disc. There are some really heavy riffs through out the CD. The guitar work really dominates the music. There are keys aplenty, and they are multi-layered, giving it a progressive feel, but it is the crunch of the guitars that drives this CD. The band produces a sound that engulfs the listener. There isn't a strong emphasis on solos and none of the players are showcased above the rest. Rather, they seem intent on focusing as a whole to bring off the songs with style and polish. Lyrically there is a lot to offer. The songs all seem to be taken from personal experiences and are rife with emotion. However, the songs are written in such a way as to be open to all who listen. They are not exclusive to the person who wrote them, but are presented in such away as to be open to a broad audience who can say, "Yeah, I can relate to that." Since the songs are all fairly lengthy, there is room for a lot of lyrics and Crises delivers the goods on this count. The songs are several verses long each, and each tells a story. The CD is touted as telling the story of the fragility of life, how we, like delicate porcelain can be broken by various things. The singer, Russell Gray, has a good voice. He doesn't have the typical operatic voice associated with progressive metal, but has a more middle-of-the-road voice with a lot of power in the mid-range. He stays within his limits very well, rarely pushing himself beyond what he can sing pleasantly. His singing is clean and clear. Fans of melodic metal will enjoy this release.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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