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Crimson Glory

Progressive Metal

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Crimson Glory Strange and Beautiful  album cover
2.25 | 40 ratings | 7 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Strange and beautiful (6:16)
2. Promise land (5:22)
3. Love and dreams (5:29)
4. The chant (3:45)
5. Dance on fire (5:27)
6. Song for angels (5:19)
7. In the mood (5:55)
8. Starchamber (7:28)
9. Deep inside your heart (5:13)
10. Make you love me (4:05)
11. Far away (4:44)

Total Time: 59:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Midnight lead / vocals, backing vocals
- Jon Drenning / guitars, backing vocals
- Jeff Lords / bass, backing vocals
- Ravi Jakhotia / drums, percussion

Releases information

Atlantic #7 82239-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy CRIMSON GLORY Strange and Beautiful Music

CRIMSON GLORY Strange and Beautiful ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (38%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

CRIMSON GLORY Strange and Beautiful reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
2 stars In the late 80s, Crimson Glory established themselves as pioneers of progressive metal. Their last album, Transcendence, was a defining album of the new genre. Expectations were high as the band headed into the 90s, but CG hit some roadblocks. Guitarist Ben Jackson left and the band soldiered on without hiring a replacement. This robbed Crimson Glory of the twin guitar attack that was a key part of their sound. Also, Ravi Jakhotia replaced the departed Dana Burnell behind the kit. Ravi brought a tribal style to the band. Normally, branching out and changing sound intrigues me. However, there is no room for tribal rhythms in a band that spews neo-classical power progressive metal.

Essentially, this album is all about Midnight. Since the screaming leads are gone and the rhythm section has been twisted, only Midnight still shines. However, he has reeled in his King Diamond high voice, which has its pros and cons. The piercing falsetto can be annoying occasionally, yet it defined him and was one of the signatures of the band. He manages well in the lower register, and he delivers some of his best performances. Promise Land, In the Mood, and Starchamber are the highlights, and they are some of the band's best songs. However, the rest of the songs range from good to unlistenable, making this a patchy effort.

This is where CG went downhill. They only managed one more studio album (without Midnight) before folding, though they are back now (still without Midnight) and working on a new release. Only fans should try this out, because there are a few very good tunes, but the rest encourages you to save your money.

Grade: D

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Strange And Beautiful" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US heavy metal act Crimson Glory. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 1991. Crimson Glory were formed in 1979 under the Pierced Arrow monicker but changed their name to Beowulf in 1982, before finally settling on the Crimson Glory monicker in 1983. They released their eponymously titled debut album in October 1986 and their sophomore studio album "Transcendence" in November 1988. There have been a couple of lineup changes since "Transcendence (1988)" as guitarist Ben Jackson and drummer Dana Burnell have jumped ship. Jackson has not been replaced and therefore Jon Drenning handles all guitars on the album, but Burnell has been replaced by new drummer Ravi Jakhotja. The remaining members of the lineup are lead vocalist Midnight and bassist Jeff Lords. In addition to the permanent members of the band playing/singing, "Strange And Beautiful" also features couple of guest appearences on keyboards, piano, percussion, and saxophone.

Itīs not only in the lineup department that there have been changes, because stylistically "Strange And Beautiful" is far removed from the US power/heavy metal style of the bandīs two previous albums. Maybe the lineup changes paved the way, or maybe Crimson Glory just felt it was time to try something completely different, because the music on "Strange And Beautiful" is a mix of hard rock, glam metal, and the occasional nod towards progressive rock/metal. Midnightīs otherwise distinct sounding high pitched vocal style has changed too. On this album he sings more in mid-range and he at times actually sounds a bit like Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses).

The 11 tracks on the 59:09 minutes long album are as such well written viewed from a technical perspective, and the high level musicianship also ensures that there is quality in that department, but the songwriting is a bit of a mish mash of different styles, which donīt really fit that well together and makes for an incoherent listen. The album includes futuristic synths, plastique horn keyboards, cheesy male/female choirs/backing vocals, saccarine ballads like "Song for Angels" and "Far Away", and semi-funky hard rock/heavy metal tracks like "Dance On Fire" and "Make You Love Me" (which reminds me a bit of a poor manīs Extreme). The only two tracks which are somewhat decent are the two opening tracks (the title track and "Promise Land"). From there it goes downhill...

"Strange And Beautiful" reeks of a band who have lost their way. It sounds like a weak attempt at trying to gain a commercial breakthrough. An attempt which failed badly and instead left us with a directionless and occasionally quite tasteless mess of an album. The critics gave it a cold reception, and the fans generally loathed it. As mentioned above the professional musicianship and a clear and detailed sounding production save "Strange And Beautiful" from complete failure, but itīs overall not a very successful release and considering the two releases which preceded it, itīs a huge disappointment. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by ProgBagel
2 stars Crimson Glory - 'Strange and Beautiful' 2.5 stars

Neither strange nor beautiful, just bad.

With the departure of a guitarist, an essential of the band, and not to be replaced to further the damage and change in drummer started things off negatively right off the bat. The vocalist does not do a good job either, he loses most of his energy (high soprano) in substitution for a more laid back sound which oddly enough sounds like Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose.

The music suffers incredibly due to these negative features. Most of the songs just sound like ballad after ballad. Just mostly simple riffs and acoustic patterns just producing a bad album all in all.

Not really recommended to anyone, the line-up changes really did this band in.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Well, it's the 90's (1991 to be exact), and the mainstream music trends are shifting dramatically. The majority of metal bands are going through an identity crisis while trying to adapt to the rising grunge scene, or, at the very least, avoid being killed off by it. And progressive/power metal b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1780834) | Posted by martindavey87 | Sunday, September 10, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is not a great album, but it is not as bad as some would have you believe. "Starchamber" would have been at home on Transcendence. It is unfortunate that the band did not explore this sound more on Strange and Beautiful. It really is the only prog metal song on the album, and while the ... (read more)

Report this review (#226136) | Posted by sixpence-guy | Sunday, July 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I believe that album so should not be published. Typical album for 1991 is however been born already old. "Song For Angel" and "Deep Inside Your Heart" are excellent songs is alone because are two ballad (and to blunder the ballad...). The band puts us all the good will, but does not succeed t ... (read more)

Report this review (#53363) | Posted by | Tuesday, October 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Crimson Glory was a fantastic heavy prog/power metal band in the late 80s, but real commercial success has never reached them. The first two albums - especially the second one, "Transcendence" - contain brilliant power metal songs a la Fates Warning, Iron Maiden, Metal Church and the then-leadin ... (read more)

Report this review (#51064) | Posted by riversdancing | Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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