Leather Wych and her legions of true to the last axemen bring to light pure Polish female- fronted speed. Through blood, sweat, and gasoline dreams fulfilled, have they recorded their sophomore release - Metal Nation. With powerful persistance, this flaming metal systematically embodies all aspects of melody, magick, and mettle inclination.
Last year, fans were treated to the - The Live EP - The Last Axeman. This album was illuminated by a number of enticing covers of Manilla Road, W.A.S.P., and even a daring duet with David DeFeis of Virgin Steele, on the blistering and boiling - Blood And Gasoline. Crystal Viper have also taken a stab at Cirith Ungol and Angelwitch, with their weeping words. It is no wonder they chose to honour the skeptics: Agent Steel.
The screaming banshee: Marta Gabriel, may not have mastered the English language, just yet. Her enunciations, are a bit amusing, but this does not impede upon the overall enjoyment of her tone, range, and pitch. She sings with the essence of Doro and Detente's Dawn Crosby, mixed with the fury, fire, and passion of Dawn Of Destiny's: Svenja Mills or Eva Markvartova' of Evarest. If you enjoy the classic White Skull fronted by Sister Federica de Boni, or if you are excited for their latest effort - Forever Fight - with new leading lady: Elisa "Over" De Palma. Crystal Viper will bite down hard with their venomous intent.
These Poles are breaking The Curse Of Crystal Viper, by writing more accessible songs, less based on a conceptual fantasy, as was the case with their debut album. Only The Anvil Of Hate - remains from the original epic narrative. As much as I celebrated the debut, I was totally lost lyrically, trying to follow the storyline.
After the intro, the title track rips right into your heart with its pummeling anthem. Bringer Of The Light - shines with an incandescent flair. The plethora of shimmering solos glisten and gleam, accordingly. 1428 - displays their Running Wild and Stormwitch influences.
The vicious attack of - Zombie Lust - which begins with an all out artillery assault on the army of the undead - is a rampant arrangement of riffs, and rhythms. Sentinel Beast, Helstar, Omen, and Benedictum fans will acknowledge the hyperactive vocals and swirling madness. The epic and folk aspects of - Gladiator, Die By The Blade - really reminds me of White Skull when they released - Tales From The North.
Her Crimson Tears - like Banshee from the EP - is another insipid ballad. Bashee was actually a decent song, and it held some promise, but the antipathy of - Her Crimson Tears - is to reminiscent of Hammerfall's lame attempts, and it slows the pace down.
I am grateful that - Legions Of Truth - endures with more rage and domination. The verse sung by Lars Ramcke of Stormwarrior, only adds to its competence. This song is killer, and a real stand-out swing of the axe! Marta even attempts operatic vocals, which actually work quite efficaciously. Other guests on the album include: Manni Schmidt on guitar (Grave Digger/Ex-Rage), and Frank Knight from X-Wild contributing vocals.
Metal Nation was recorded in the MP studio in Poland by Mariusz Pietka. It was mixed at Sonic Train Studios in Sweden. Marta's husband Bart handles the production, and management concerns. The production values are quite impressive. These two work well as a team, similar to Liv Kristine and her husband - Alex Krull. Even though there are no harsh vocals, Leave's Eyes fans would surely enjoy Metal Nation.
Mateusz "Gajdek" Gajdzik provides additional guitar sound. He has replaced Rafal Gorny, and he is well known for his contributions with the sacred steel lords - Witchking. Andy Wave continues to provide effluent melodies.
If you have grown weary of female fronted operatic, or death growls, refresh your spirit, by journeying to a new purlieu - The Metal Nation!
See also review of: Queen Of The Witches