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CRIMSON GLORY

Progressive Metal • United States


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Crimson Glory biography
Heavy metal prog band hailing from Sarasota, Florida, whose style is similar to that of QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING. The band started off as BEOWULF back in 1982, when bassist Jeff Lords got together with guitarists Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson. They then found in the person of the enigmatic 'Midnight' an astoundingly powerful vocalist whose ear-shattering screams are often compared to those of Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE). Over the course of 13 years and throughout various personnel changes, they have released four albums.

Their first two, the eponymous "Crimson Glory" (1986) and "Transcendence" (1988), are considered their cult classics. Combining the twin-axe harmonies of IRON MAIDEN and the melodic grace of QUEENSRYCHE, they feature relatively straightforward song writing, where the band generally shies away from complex arrangements. What stands out are guitarist John Drenning's unique lead style and axe-slinging play, Jeff Lords' intricate bass lines that give the music a good swagger and groove, and front man Midnight's pure steel voice. Their other two albums, however, are dispensable. "Strange and Beautiful" (1991) only lives up to the first half of its title and "Astronomica" (1999) is a poor attempt at recapturing past glories (with a new vocalist who is more likely to send you running).

Fans of QUEENSRYCHE, and to a lesser extent DREAM THEATER, may want to check out the band's first two albums.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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CRIMSON GLORY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CRIMSON GLORY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 46 ratings
Crimson Glory
1986
4.01 | 117 ratings
Transcendence
1988
2.14 | 26 ratings
Strange and Beautiful
1991
2.89 | 30 ratings
Astronomica
1999

CRIMSON GLORY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CRIMSON GLORY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CRIMSON GLORY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
In Dark Places... 1986-2000
2010

CRIMSON GLORY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.86 | 5 ratings
Lonely
1989

CRIMSON GLORY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With a twin-guitar lineup and a vocalist - the mysterious Midnight - whose delivery reminds me a lot of the better Geoff Tate performances, you could be forgiven for thinking that Crimson Glory were just riding the Queensryche bandwagon, though musically speaking I find their material a bit more hard-edged than the 'ryche's post-Warning stuff - in fact, it's more along the lines of early Fate's Warning a lot of the time. Competent stuff, in short, though I feel that the album hasn't aged quite as well as Fate's Warning's material from the same era and if you're after truly experimental progressive metal you'll probably find it a little tame.

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 Astronomica by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.89 | 30 ratings

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Astronomica
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Astronomica (1999) is the fourth studio album by Crimson Glory, a North American band. In fact is their first album in 8 years since Strange And Beautiful (1991). Nothing strange that this was their comeback and also last release.

Crimson Glory plays pretty much Heavy Metal with hints of Progressive Metal. It is in fact a 4 man band, but it looks like a solo project, really.

Nothing, nothing remarkable. Nothing really stands out but one phrase in my mind: "Endless screaming and a horrible drum sound."

Oh yeah, and don't forget that after 5 minutes of the last song you still have more.... perfect!

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Crimson Glory's "Transcendence" is one of the early prog metal albums coming in at the end of the 80s decade. As such it suffers from the 80s hangover but still manages to captivate with some masterful tracks that are incredibly complex and intelligently structured. One of the most dynamic tracks is 'Eternal World' with amazing speed picking, screaming lead solos and unbelievable vocals from iconic screamer, Midnight. The tempo changes and melody are enhanced by accomplished fast guitar riffage and atmospherics.

The power metal of 'Lady of winter' is a dynamic opener with a killer riff and excellent vocals. This was the sound of 80s metal when metal really took off and spawned some of the most amazing bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth. These bands dominated the 80s but Crimson Glory fell below the radar for me although I was heavily into metal at the time. The band are definitely very accomplished musicians, the lead guitar is incredible by Jon Drenning, backed up by the rhythm guitar of Ben Jackson. The rhythm machine of bass from Jeff Lords and percussion by Dana Burnell are never less than technical.

There are the obligatory acoustic power ballad segments such as on the opening of 'Burning Bridges'. All metal albums seemed to have these moments. The lead guitar work on this is excellent with soaring passionate string bends. The solo at the end is worth waiting round for, fast arpeggios and speed picking merged with a steady tempo.

Another highlight is 'In Dark Places', one of the longer songs at 7 minutes, with Midnight sounding emotional and passionate. This one admittedly sounds like the type of metal of the year 1988, along with Megadeth's "So Far, So Good, So What", Helloween's "Keeper Of The Seven Keys", Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime", Fate's Warning's "No Exit", Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son of a Seventh son", Metallica's "And Justice for All", and Slayer's "South Of Heaven". As you can see it was definitely a year of metal with some of the best albums coming out one by one. The template was to present shredding, melodic riffs, amazing lead breaks and powerhouse vocals. Midnight was certainly one of the best vocalists but he was in good company with the likes of Dickenson, and Tate. Even Christian metal sounded like this, with the high vocals and shredding guitars.

What made Crimson Glory stand out within the maelstrom of metal that dominated in this era? The intricacy and technicality of the music was a key factor. The album features strong prog elements that would bring something new to the scene. Listen to 'Masque of the Red Death' for some technical guitar riffs and especially Burnell's sporadic drumming. In the half time feel the guitars blaze with soaring twin lead harmonics, until Drenning takes over with screaming lead wizardry. The pitchy singing is vibrant and Midnight is revered in metal history for this type of singing.

'Painted Skies' begins with acoustics, Midnight singing melancholy lyrics, "spread your wings, you can fly, But the dove is never free, In painted skies that shade the colour of your dream, Only nightmares are real, Confusion conceals the only reason for the feelings you can't hide." It sounds a bit like Queensryche, namely 'Lady In Black'. The melodic sound is compelling, but it is the guitars on this that lift it, especially the towering lead break and more aggressive riffing.

Another softer balladic song is 'Lonely' with nice harmonics and vocals. The sadness is wrapped in well written lyrics about unrequited love; "She awakens from a dream to a silent room, where shadows speak of memories, Another sleepless night afraid to face the day." The song builds into a heavier riff though maintains the melancholy style. 'Red Sharks' is a faster shredder with more aggressive vocals. The lyrics are very anti communist; "Give us your freedom, we'll give you hell, Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, Glory to red sharks, Answer to your red dictators, Feeding from your dreams, Cast into a sea of red sharks." The faster Crimson Glory is irresistible but there are dated anthemic vocals that could be excised. The guitars make up for it though particularly when the lead break crunches in with speedy licks, duel hammer ons and power riffing. The technical riff at 3:40 that gallops is one of my favourites on the album.

'Where Dragons Rule' is worth a mention too especially for Midnight's high octave screeches. It even reminds me of Judas Priest style riffing, very steady and precise. It sounds a bit Spinal Tappish with the bombastic male chorus vocal yells and overall lyrics, but it holds well due to incredible lead breaks and vocals.

The album is hailed as a masterpiece of metal by many and is highly revered for the late Midnight's legacy and overall metal technique. Midnight died of a kidney and liver failure at the age of 47 in 2008. One of the first prog metal albums, "Transcendence" must rank highly as an influence to prog metal to come in the 90s decade.

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Good, but fails to "transcend" New Wave Of British Heavy Metal

Crimson Glory's Transcendence is often considered to be a classic of progressive Metal and while the title and cover art admittedly are very inviting for a Prog fan, the musical contents are not that interesting in Prog terms. Despite hailing from America, Crimson Glory is a band in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal school. Transcendence is an album of moderately complex Heavy Metal very much in the Judas Priest and Iron Maiden tradition and, in my opinion, Crimson Glory fails to push things anywhere beyond what these two classic British bands had already done in the 70's and early 80's. The closest musical influence seems to be Judas Priest's mid 70's albums, particularly Stained Class. The title track has a clear Led Zeppelin flavour.

Still, this is good melodic and, as i said, moderately complex Metal music. I enjoy it. Fates Warning did very similar things on their early albums. But unlike Fates Warning, Crimson Glory did not go on to the next level; they did not evolve beyond proto-Prog Metal (at least not on this album).

Good, but somewhat overrated

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Double-D

5 stars Transcendence is probably the best progressive metal album of all time. It is sad that nowadays this unique band is totally forgotten.

Transcendence offers something really special and easily can be classified as universal metal. The starts with Lady Of Winter one of the shortest songs on the record. It shows what Glory is all about - nice riffing, beautiful melodies and of course Midnight's unique voice. Then comes Red Sharks - the fastest song on the album and maybe one of the best speed metal tracks ever written. The highlights on the album are easily Painted Skies, In Dark Places and Burning Bridges. No words can describe how great these pieces of music are. Great riffing, beautiful melodies and of course Midnight's immortal voice. The album ends with the minor title track which is a bit strange, but fits great to the others. So if you call yourself progressive fans this album is absolutely essential!

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 Crimson Glory by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.47 | 46 ratings

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Crimson Glory
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars This debut album of CRIMSON GLORY is a true monument in the history of modern American metal with some prog influences!Even it's a debut album,CRIMSON GLORY was since the beginning a band like no other,especially because the unique voice of the trully regretted vocalist MIDNIGHT- RIP- a sensational vocalist!This guy had an unique and instantly recognisable voice,with amazing capacities-from very alto tones to really ferocious ways of expression!Of course,we have to remember about their ridiculous masks-their trademark at the time-but it was something that was very original-remember-all happened in the middle of the 80's!Pople known CG as the band with the guys wearing the masks!!!This album has a good production and some sensational compositions,in my opinion LOST REFLECTION is the absolute masterpiece of the band,one of the most amazing compositions in the history of metal-a trully sensitive metal ballad,with wonderful verses and a majestic performance from MIDNIGHT, which is giving here the whole measure of his fabulous voice!Other highlights are VALHALLA,DRAGON LADY and QUEEN OF THE MASQUERADE-true metal anthems and songs made for eternity!MIDNIGHT was also on the second CRIMSON GLORY album,the masterpiece TRANSCENDENCE-one of the most important albums in metal too ,some people says a true milestone in music,of the same importance like classics of the genre- METALLICA-MASTER OF PUPPETS,QUEENSRYCHE-OPERATION MINDCRIME,FATES WARNING-PARALELLS.In fact,CRIMSON GLORY were ofter compared to FATES WARNING,QUEENSRYCHE and MAIDEN-ant that's perfectly true!CRIMSON GLORY is trully mentioned as major influence for hundreds of bands in the prog metal and power metal genre!A wonderful album,which deserves his place iv every serious collection of prog metal fans,goot American classical metal,generally speaking. 4,5 STARS,because Transcendence is the one which deserves 5!!!

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Kassimatis

4 stars Transcedence! An album of memorable anthems! Since I am a bit of a metal head, a fan of DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING, and IRON MAIDEN, this is an essential album in my collection!

I love Midnight's stunning powerful vocals. I love the blood rush I get with the intro to the track "Masque of the red death". Great guitar riffs. I love singing to "Painted Skies", "Lonely" and "In Dark Places". I love the outro to the title track. I love this album.

There is an aura of mystique and fantasy in the music as well as the lyrics of this album. Very enchanting.

For those who love SYMPHONY X, FATES WARNING, and the pure metal of the 80's, this album is essential.

4.0 stars

Enjoy!

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The best Crimson Glory album. Very beautiful and competent mix of power metal and early prog metal. Important mark in american metal history. But is it original work?

Twenty something years ago I was heavy fan of NWOBHM ( New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). So, I perfectly knew all early Iron Maiden albums and Judas Priest works as well. The music you can listen on "Transcedence" is good american version of early Iron Maiden works. With a bit slower tempo and some additional melodism ( and few high vocal notes borrowedn from Judas Priest vocalist). Does it means, that the album is bad? No way!

Perfectly played different songs with excelent voice and generally good arrangements ( I just don't like a bit simplistic drums there). Just not too much original.

I like to listen that album even now. Ok, in some moments you can think you are listening to Iron Maiden, but - is this bad mistake? Sounds more as compliment to Crimson glory!

I believe this album should find a place in any serious collection of early prog metal. Without ambitions to originaly, for sure.

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 Astronomica by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.89 | 30 ratings

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Astronomica
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Valarius

4 stars After an eight year absence since their last album, Crimson Glory comes storming back with the amazing 'Astronomica'.

Heavy riffs, high-pitched vocals, complex melodies and grooving bass lines, these are just some of the things you'll find on this album. The music on this album isn't too far different from that on 'Transcendence', only the more modern production gives it a much heavier crunch.

In fact, the only major difference between this album and earlier CG records is vocalist Wade Black, who has a huge task ahead of him (taking over for previous vocalist Midnight), but he pulls it off flawlessly, and sounds as though he has been in the band since the very beginning.

Included with this album is a bonus disk which has three live tracks on them. Although nothing amazing, they are still worth a listen, and make me sad that Crimson Glory never released a live album. Also of interest is the weird radio dialogue at the end of the album. We listen to a police radio for about 20 minutes, where the basic idea is that UFO's have been sighted and one police officer is trying to figure out what the hell is going on. On first listen it seemed a waste of time, but after multiple listens it's actually pretty cool and interesting, whilst also extremely chilling and haunting.

Highlights include 'War of the Worlds', 'New World Machine', 'Cyber Christ' and the epic 'Cydonia'. Although there are no songs on this album that I dislike, there are one or two tracks that kind of feel like they were just thrown in to make up the numbers. This is why the album only gets a four star rating instead of a five.

All-in-all this is a true gem. It may not be considered Crimson Glory's best album, but it's definitely worth getting, especially if modern heavy metal isn't intelligent enough for you.

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 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.01 | 117 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by sixpence-guy

5 stars 1988 was a good year for for power and progressive metal. Operation: Mindcrime, Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. II, No Exit, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, ...And Justice For All, and Kings Of Metal were all released that year, along with the second album by Crimson Glory, Transcendence.

This album serves as one of the defining releases in prog power metal. It is one of the few "perfect" prog power albums which you can listen to from beginning to end without hitting the skip button. It truly is all killer and no filler.

Lyrically, the band tackles a variety of topics - a little bit of space opera, some social commentary on aids and communism, and some medieval imagery are all present. Compared to the sex-drenched follow-up Strange and Beautiful, Transcendence is genius in the lyrics department,.

At the center of the album is one of the few perfect metal singles, "Lonely." It's a tricky proposition for a prog power metal band to record and release a commerical single, but CG found just the right combination of catchiness and crunch in "Lonely." A recent re-issue includes the single mix of "Lonely," I and love the extra attention paid to the vocals in the song with counter singing. Unfortunately, the outro solo is snipped off in the sigle edit.

Midnight's vocals are often compared to Geof Tate's, but I hear more European influence there personally, There's a lot of King Diamond in his voice when goes into his high register. He is also a very emotional singer like Messiah (Candlemass), while Tate can sound very cold and clinical on QR's early albums.

The guitar work of Ben Jackson and Jon Drenning is fantastic. There are some really creative riffs and ripping solos. The two have a very good chemistry that shines throughout the disc. The rhythm section is also very tight, with the drumming very crisp and the bass providing real low end, not just echoing the guitar parts as many metal basists were doing at the time.

If you consider yourself a prog or power metal fan, this album should be in your collection, right alongside Images and Words, Rage For Order, Somewhere In Time, and No Exit, It's a shame they couldn't make it to the next level.

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