“Crimson Glory” (reissue) by Crimson Glory

Artist: Crimson Glory
Title: “Crimson Glory” (reissue/remaster)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 4/15/2008
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

Originally released by Roadrunner Records in 1986, the self-titled debut of Sarasota Florida’s Crimson Glory is a welcome addition to any Progressive Metal fans music library. Now made available as a special limited edition reissue/remaster from Metal Mind Productions, those who have longed for such a release to see the light of day will be really happy and those who had only heard of the band in references from others can see just what made them so special in the first place. Crimson Glory was a band who combined powerful melodies and technical musical ability with soaring lead and harmony vocals along with an image that would be as impressive as it was imposing in the visual sense. Sporting full-face silver masks with the exception of the singer whose mouth was exposed, the band was an intriguing mystery on the live stage and like KISS was never photographed without their signature masks. Musically they call us back to a time when Progressive Metal was still in its formative years and should you be a fan that focused on early Queensryche and Fates Warning then you would definitely be on board for the kind of presentation that Crimson Glory brought to the table. Their debut release was self-titled and this worked with a name as impressive and standout as theirs was. They offered up an intricate level of playing ability which was not as common in the bigger Rock scene of the day as Glam Rock was in full swing and when Crimson Glory first came on the scene many of the popular bands were carbon copies of the band who did the same exact thing before them and so on etc. Instead Crimson Glory chose to be different and sing about subjects which were far deeper than a soap opera meant for the Sunset Strip. We find this in tracks like “Valhalla” and “Dragon Lady” where the group takes us to different worlds full of mysticism and atmosphere. Fronted by the mysterious lead singer Midnight, we walk through realms of shadows and time and look forward to each adventure.

There are “almost ballads” on the debut such as “Heart Of Steel” which is a slower number in guitar riffing but has the glass breaking high notes that showcase Midnight as one of the better purveyors of such a style in the genre of the day. There has often been comparison of him against that of Geoff Tate and Rob Halford so you just knew he was belting them out to be thought of in such distinguished company. On guitars the band found Jon Drenning (lead) and Ben Jackson (rhythm) who were both accomplished technicians on the axe and one can tell just how much by the impressive flair shown during the lead breaks and riffing across the album. The solid drumming was care of Dana Burnell while bass was handled by Jeff Lords. The songwriting found on the debut was also strong and even some twenty two years after release finds songs like “Azrael” and the amazing “Loft Reflection” sounding better than some of the Progressive Metal of today. “Mayday” comes as perhaps the fastest and heaviest track on the release and it blazes by with double bass drumming and high pitched screams. The original album closed with “Lost Reflection” and this is a moody and dramatic piece that one can just envision being done live with smoke and lights adding to the effects and vibe. With the remaster we are treated to a bonus track called “Dream Dancer” and this was apparently a b-side release by the band since its not on the original CD or vinyl. The remaster sounds great and really does the band justice and comes with a booklet that provides the inside scoop on their beginnings as well as light mention about the bands two other releases. We find lyrics for the tunes as well but only one photograph which is a group shot. Given the bands overall image I had expected a little more in the way of photos for the reissue but none were provided. This is an amazing debut by a band that had so much potential and yet only delivered two full albums with this lineup. Its music that will leave you wondering “who were those masked Metal heads?.”

Track Listing:
1. Valhalla
2. Dragon Lady
3. Heart Of Steel
4. Azrael
5. Mayday
6. Queen Of The Masquerade
7. Angels Of War
8. Loft Reflection
9. Dream Dancer – bonus

Official Website: www.crimsonglory.com

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