Crystal Breed, The Place Unknown, 2011
The first time I played this record I was pretty shocked. This is complex music, but how they were able to surpass my brain and go straight for the heart is just amazing…. So this tells us these 4 German dudes are doing something terribly right. Let me try to shine a little light on the mystery at work here:
The band mix several ingredients: main dish is progressive metal, yet with a heavy emphasis on keyboards and synths that sound like a mixture of ambient and industrial. Added are numerous vintage sounds like piano, acoustic guitars, flute, violin and organ. In and between songs there is a lot of room to breathe, all to surprise and entice. Sometimes they rock damn hard, sometimes they whisper and throw in a classical inspired interlude.
The vocals are clear and supported by anything they need to sound good. Effects, harmonisation, etc.. Beatles, or Beach Boys, who knows. Sounds not unlike A.C.T in some respect. And the often so obvious accent is just for the insiders to hear.
And on top of all that, it is just plain beautiful music with melodies that last and touch you. So not for the faint of heart because of the complexity that is present (hey, I did mention that progressive metal thing did I not), but anyone with time to spare and wanting to hear something that grabs you firmly, this is one to dig up. I just love it!