Album review: CRYSTAL VIPER – Possession

Crystal Viper - Possession

AFM Records

With an album cover looking like a tacky horror movie or a bad King Diamond album from the 1980’s the preconceptions start before I’ve even listened to this new release from Polish metal band Crystal Viper.

Crystal Viper were formed in Poland back in 2003 by lead vocalist, guitarist and composer Marta Gabriel and this is their fifthstudio album following 18 months on from “Crimen Excepta”.

Possession is a concept album about a girl named Julia who I presume gets possessed (track 3 confirms that idea) but without a lyric sheet I had no real desire to find out the details! The titles of the tracks alone gave me a good idea about what was going on…

Opening with atmospheric instrumental opener Zeta Reticuli things kick off as they mean to go on when Voices In My Head kicks in and unfortunately it’s not in a positive direction. Muddy drums complete with annoying double bass drumming, screechy vocals and a very dated guitar sound made listening through this a few times feel like torture!

Redeeming features…well best has to be the subdued Why Can’t You Listen? and the faithful bonus track cover of the mighty Riot’s Thundersteel.

Marta will probably have more success with her clothing line “Thunderball Clothing” (lots of studs in evidence) than with this.

I usually have a soft spot for female fronted rock/metal bands but this one just leaves me cold. Sorry.  **

Review by Phil Berisford

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