CRIMSON GLORY


"Astronomica" (Spitfire; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Crimson Glory's "Astronomica" is a powerful sci-fi (or is it sci-fact?) concept album that not only tells an intriguing story, but delivers a riveting and rich metal performance.

"Astronomica," as you may glean from the CD cover, is about the mystery of UFOs, the government's cover-up of same and their link to the ancients. When this CD was originally released, the band and the record label did a great job of promoting it, with plenty of "Eyes Only" press releases and mysterious "recently uncovered" missives from the band. That marketing approach may or may not have been successful, but it certainly coincides with the attitude of this record. "Astronomica" has an almost eerie, enigmatic feel about it that translates well into the band's amazing prog-metal sound.

Wade Black's shrieking, Halford-like vocals and the guitar shredding of Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson are jaw-dropping here. Both feature equally stunning bursts of speed and style that really draw the listener's attention. Although these moments obviously stand out, they do not detract from that particular track by drawing too much attention to themselves. Instead, they enhance the songs, offering sweeping and or sharp high points. In other words, these moments aren't merely ego trips.

The songwriting throughout is also impeccable. From full-on shredders ("War of the Worlds") to the slower (but still powerful) tunes ("Edge of Forever"), "Astronomica" delivers. 

Crimson Glory: Wade Black - vocals; Jon Drenning - guitar; Ben Jackson - guitar; Jeff Lords - bass; Steve Wacholz - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.crimsonglory.com


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 14 Sep 2017 02:01:04 -0400.