Fireworks

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Crystal Palace - 'Dawn Of Eternity' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4a/28/02/crystal-palace-dawn-of-eternity-84-1487365007.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 17, 2017    
 
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An excellent release.

With a name like Crystal Palace it would be so easy to fill this review with football analogies, but I'm sticking solely with the music which, by and large, is excellent Neo Prog of the Germanic variety.

The band's sixth album sees them with a more melodic/streamlined sound than on previous offerings. The usual ingredients are all there, lengthy instrumental passages and time changes, but what I find very palatable about this album is the emphasis on melody. This is something that a lot of Prog bands seem to forget about these days whilst noodling along endlessly. The band have throughout the years gone through many line-up changes, but the current roster of Nils Conrad (guitar), Frank Köhler (keyboards), Tom Ronney (drums) and Jenz Uwe Strutz (vocals, bass) – with RPWL man Yogi Lang on production – have come up with a real head turner. With their influences liberally sprinkled throughout the album, think early Dream Theater in places as well as Steven Wilson, with a smidgen of Queensrӱche thrown in for good measure. This is anything but an album that sounds derivative of these bands though.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Very much putting their own stamp on proceedings, from the instrumental opener 'Dawn' through to closer 'The Day That Doesn't End', this album never loses sight of what they do best. 'Confess Your Crime', with its fine blend of both guitars and keys, highlights their strengths; throughout the various sections the essence of melody is never lost at any time and this is also evident in other tracks. The melancholic 'Daylight After The Rain' echoes the work of Wilson, and 'Hearts On Sale' is bordering on Melodic Rock/AOR which they pull off marvellously. The best track on offer, for me, is the epic sounding 'Sky Without Stars', whilst starting off slowly it soon bursts into life with a wonderful guitar sound and impassioned vocals.

Kudos must also go to producer Lang who has got the band sounding big and full, but still retaining a real sense of the drama that's very evident here. At no time did I feel the band was becoming self-indulgent, which is criticism aimed at a lot of Prog bands. The playing is concise and never wasteful, making every note count, and ideas are always kept succinct and clear. Yep, all in all Crystal Palace have delivered their best album to date; an excellent release.

Malcolm Smith

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