Crimson Glory - Transcendence
Let's take a stroll down memory lane back to the magical metal year of 1988. The year when great releases such Helloween's Keeper of the Seven Keys II and Iron Maiden's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son totally swept millions of fans away. But another great album, a kick ass one actually, also dates back to that year and must definitely be considered as a very rare piece of metal history. The album I'm talking about is US-based Crimson Glory's second achievment, Transcendence. An album I at the time of writing this hadn't heard for many years, but still today sounds just as good, if not even better.
Their music is mainly progressive power metal with a very epic feel to it. The sound mainly revolves around the highly distorted guitars that in many cases resemble the sound on Iron Maiden's Powerslave and of course the amazing efforts of Midnight, the man behind the microphone. His voice is an absolute killer and from the more normal midrange area he maneuvers very swiftly into a very high register without loosing an ounce of power and force. His vocals also contribute to the overall sound of the album, which is aggressive, very melancholic and at the same time extremely emotional. The tracks vary from more up tempo to steady grinding and to very solemn ballads and semi-ballads.
Transcendence is plain and simple just an album that got what it takes and as good as every ingredient that a great release needs can be found on this one. The production is perhaps the only week point but it follows the trend from the late 80's and in that way it only enhances the classical touches. The booklet with the band members portraited with quite unusal silver masks is also a strong reminder of a nowadays more forgotten era.
All I can do is to highly recommend Transcendence to all fans of metal and it's a great shame that a treasure like this is remained hidden for many people. It deserves way more attention than it's already got and I sincerely hope this review will alter that fact at least a little.
Altogether the band released 4 albums and the latest one was Astronomica from 1999 with former Seven Witches vocalist Wade Black. But neither that one or the other two (s/t from 1986 and Strange and Beautiful from 1991) manage to reach the high class of Transcendence. And as you might have noticed there are no staff picks but that's just completely unnecessary this time around- they all rock!