Nima : For almost two decades Crystal Ball has been pampering my ears with beautiful hardrock and melodic heavy/power metal. Crystal Ball is one of those bands that has never made any drastic changes, but also one that never disappoints and that is something I find admirable and it is also one of the reasons why I always look forward to a new album from the Swiss quintet.
At the end of this month the tenth LP, 'Crystallizer', will be released and it has once again become a highly tasty and typical Crystal Ball album, and the band is once again a step closer to perfection. Did the last two predecessors, and especially ’Déjà-Voodoo’, show a sturdier approach that reminded me of U.D.O., 'Crystallizer' again shows a more melodic approach. The album is therefore more in line ’Dawnbreaker’. So that means that the gentlemen have not mellowed down or have suddenly become soft or anything. The material rocks as ever and has the same bombastic and dynamic character that makes this band oh so recognizable. All eleven tracks are strong compositions and the one is better than the other. Therefore it is rather impossible to mention one or a few songs as highlights, because each track has its own charm and is a highlight on its own. Even the ballads, 'Let Her Go With Love' and 'Symphony Of Life', are both convincing. The sing-along, goose bumps and along with that the addictive value is again very high. Thanks to the strong production by (once again) Stefan Kaufmann, the record has been given exactly the right sound, so that it all sounds quite contemporary but still has that traditional hardrock/metal charm. All in all, this is one of the stronger Crystal Ball albums to date.
With the mid-tempo 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' and the beautiful ballad 'Exit Wounds' the digipak version of the album has two strong bonus tracks as well. In short; fans of bulky hardrock and melodic heavy/power metal and bands like compatriots Shakra, Chinchilla, Maverick, Axel Rudi Pell, Scorpions, more recent Edguy and co. can purchase 'Crystallizer' without any hesitations and make themselves an addiction richer.