Fireworks

Crystal Ball - 'Déjà-Voodoo' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     November 20, 2016    
 
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This is smouldering Hard Rock with plenty of oomph... nice one!

Swiss firebrand Melodic Rockers Crystal Ball have come an awful long way since starting out on the pothole strewn road to fame and fortune more than two decades ago. Back then they were called Cherry Pie (as I'm sure were dozens of other hopefuls dotted around the globe) and eked out an existence playing covers, but quickly realising that was only ever a stop-gap that would never elevate them above a localised curio, they started to pen their own songs, changed their name to something more forward looking... and the rest, as they say, is history.

Latest release 'Déjà-Voodoo' is their ninth full-length studio affair in an ever more intriguing journey that began in earnest with 'In The Beginning' back in 1999. It's a journey that has seem them become firmly established in the upper echelons of the European Melodic Hard Rock hierarchy. Operating in territory not a million miles from the likes of the much-missed Evidence One, Eden's Curse et al, they've always struck me as the natural link between the exuberant swagger of Gotthard or Shakra and the elegant sophistication of Bonfire or Pretty Maids; rapier-like riffs and gruffly warm vocal melodies combining in unison to create a maelstrom of angst-infused melodrama.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Kicking off with the sucker-punch double whammy of title track 'Déjà-Voodoo' and 'Director's Cut', it's readily apparent that the quintet are still firing on all cylinders. The addition of former Krokus guitarist Tony "TC" Castell last year, if anything, honed their attack even further. If 2015s 'Liferider' had a fault at all, it was perhaps a lack of dynamism, any spirit of adventure stifled whilst the band sought to consolidate and regroup. Thankfully, having successfully achieved that, Crystal Ball now seem keen to expand their horizons a little, the varying tempos and embellishments applied liberally to the likes of the bombastic 'Without A Net', the rousing 'Reaching Out' and atmospheric 'Home Again' making for an altogether more compelling release.

I've seen a couple of reviewers suggest that this album is a few tracks too long, but I can't say my attention span ever wandered at all. This is smouldering Hard Rock with plenty of oomph... nice one!

Dave Cockett

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