What if I told you there was an album that contained lyrics influenced by legends, mysterious stories and secrets of the world such as the Bermuda Triangle. I know that would certainly pique my curiosity along with others. The album in question is Tales Of Fire And Ice, the latest release from Polish Heavy Metal act CRYSTAL VIPER. This record presents a different approach from their previous material and given the strong content you hear on this record; you can tell this approach has worked well.
The album starts off with both Prelude and single Still Alive. Prelude lures you into the atmospheric sounds of a heavy metal storm on it’s away. This is presented through the rain and thunder sound effects, which is then emphasised with a fantastic guitar riff. This transitions into the first few notes of the single Still Alive. It gives you a taste of their well-crafted melodies and the talent that CRYSTAL VIPER have to offer. These elements include prevailing vocals, excellent guitar work and the poetic song writing.
Throughout the album, they keep up the great melodies through their relentless talent. There is a brilliant mix of tracks that each have their own sound and story. One moment you have the sweeping beats of tracks such as Neverending Fire, the next you have the rapid beats of tracks such as One Question. When listening to both these tracks. Long time fans of the band may notice a development in their sound from their previous releases.
The opening of Bright Lights uplifts you instantly with its bouncy rhythm and guitar riff. Everything else about the song is fantastic; lyrically it’s well written, there is a finger blistering solo, the melody is fantastically crafted and Marta Gabriel’s vocal work prevails successfully. They have released this as a single and the video to go with it is simple but effective.
NIGHTWISH classic Nemo comes to mind when Interlude plays, particularly with regards to the tune on the piano. Like Nemo, it also gives us remnants of cold and frosty surroundings. This is a perfect lead up to the track Under Ice. Lyrics such as “frozen secrets under ice” and “touched by frost” match the theme perfectly. Marta’s vocal work reminds of BATTLE BEAST vocalist Noora Louhimo, there is a lot of power in her voice.
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS’ song Tonight We Ride come to mind when I heard the song One Question. The rapid beats and the powerful vocal work are the main reasons for this. I like the song structure in One Question. The rapid beats in the verses are perfect for when you need to get going and then you have that empowering chorus that makes you feel invincible.
Tears Of Arizona is what most listeners would call the ballad as there is less distortion and heaviness in this one. It’s also great to hear another side of Marta’s vocal work for the first half of the track, it was softer but still powerful and packed a punch.
Tales Of Fire And Ice is a great album, there is an array of brilliant melodies and undeniable talented. This album will be sure to open doors for this band and gain new fans from across the board.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Tales Of Fire And Ice is out now.