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Crystal Palace - Scattered Shards CD (album) cover

SCATTERED SHARDS

Crystal Palace

 

Neo-Prog

3.76 | 25 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Apparently this German band has been around since 1994, but it is the first time I have come across them. I am sure that they have a great reason for the band name, but all I can think of is a London football team that play at Selhurst Park. I actually went there once, and saw Harry Kewell score the best goal I ever saw at a match, back in the very dim and distant past when I followed the round ball game. Anyway, I digress. This is their fourth studio album, so I am little surprised that I haven't heard of them before this, especially given their longevity, as I thought I knew pretty much most of the bands around back in the Nineties. Consequently I actually don't know if this is similar to their previous albums or not, but what we have here is a neo-prog act who are both staying solidly in the genre and also moving further afield. Some of the keyboard sounds pulse as if they are coming from electronica, while when the band do decide to break out they do so in a matter that is more reminiscent of prog metal than neo.

The vocals are often to the fore, especially when they are playing in a more atmospheric style, but it is the dynamic contrasts between the different styles that really make this album stand out. I am a little surprised that the instrumental passages aren't longer and more frequent, given that singer Yenz is also the bassist in this quartet, but as it is there is an interesting balance. I'm not a fan of all of the keyboard sounds being utilised, but when they are placed against piano as at the beginning of 'Inside Your Dreams' the contrast works very well indeed. This comes across as an incredibly polished and well performed album, and given that they are more than 20 years in perhaps that should be expected, although it should be noted that only Yenz (back then just providing bass) is the only player who was involved back then. This is a solid album that definitely takes me back into the Nineties, while also being relevant for today and is well worth investigating.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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