|Crystal Viper – ‘Queen Of The Witches‘ (AFM Records)|
|Written by Marc Leach|
|Monday, 06 March 2017 04:00|
Not all of us can be like the late rock god, Lemmy Kilmister: a man who continued to play rock n’ roll even even though his body was riddled with numerous health problems, which sadly got the better of him. Our health is the most important thing to look after in life and that can be said for Polish metal band, Crystal Viper who took a four year absence as leading lady Marta Gabriel recovered from an illness. Now, they are back to raise some hell with their brand new record, ‘Queen Of The Witches.’
The single, ‘The Witch Is Back’, is a fitting introduction for this record where the listener is greeted to a terrifying shriek from Marta herself, the perfect way to show that the witch herself is back! As the album progresses there is a strong influence to another rock god, Ronnie James Dio throughout, as made evident in tracks such as ‘I Fear No Evil’ and ‘When The Sun Goes Down,’ where the chunky guitar riffs from both Marta and Andy Wave reek of Dio/Black Sabbath.
It’s fitting for a metal album to at least feature a ballad somewhere in the track list, and Crystal Viper deliver not one but two of them; and it is here where Marta’s sensational vocal range shines from the metal heavens. The band also join forces with Saracen lead vocalist Steve Betteney for ‘We Will Make It Last Forever’ and the chemistry between the two during this track is one of the finest features of this body of work. But the special guests don't end there my friends - from the Iron Maiden-esque ‘Do Or Die’ featuring former Manowar Ross The Boss to the ripper of a guitar solo during ‘Flames And Blood’ by Venom’s Mantas.
It is great that Crystal Viper keep their influences close to their hearts, and depending on which form of media you pick up the record, you will be treated to one of two additional covers. If you picked up the LP you will be treated to a cover of ‘Long Live The Loud’ by Exciter. If you are like me and didn't get the LP, then you will be treated to a fiery rendition of ‘See You In Hell’ by Grim Reaper.
So final thoughts on the return from the witch and her crew? This is not the strongest album this reviewer has ever listened, to as the tracks themselves are rather bland and very samey in parts. That being said this is a solid piece of material that will appeal to those who just want to listen to some old school heavy metal.
‘Queen Of The Witches’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.
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