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CRYSTAL PALACE

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Crystal Palace picture
Crystal Palace biography
Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1991

Formed by Helmut Hirt (vocals), Jürgen Hegner (guitars), Ralf Jaschob (guitars) and Jens Uwe Strutz (bass, vocals). For the first few years of their existence various drummers and keyboardists helped out when needed; for live shows as well as studio work.

Their first full length album, "On the Edge of the World", was issued in 1995; and promoted for the next few years.

In 1998 Hirt left the band, but by November of the same year he had been replaced by Tom Young (vocals). Sven Brehm (drums) and Frank Köhler (keyboards) joined at the same time; and this first permanent band line-up recorded and released the EP "Children of the Sun" in 1999.

In 2000 Young left, and after searching for a new frontman for some time, it was decided that bassist Strutz should take care of the vocal duties instead; and with that matter settled the band hit the studio again; resulting in 2001's full length album "Demon in You". In 2002 a live EP with this line-up was issued, "Unplugged by the Shadow", recorded at the wedding of drummer Sven Brehm.

Supporters of German icehockey club "EHC-Eisbären Berlin" saw to it that their next release would be a more high profile one, as the band won a contest through internet voting to record a fan song for the club. The single "Eisbär'n Forever" was the end result, released in 2003.

At the same time Brehm left the band, replaced by Mathias Wallasch (drums). He stayed just long enough to record the full length production "Psychedelic Sleep", issued in 2003, before leaving. Early in 2004 Hegner left as well, and the remaining band members started to involve themselves in side projects for a while following this.

Dagobert Weiß joined the band briefly in the same period; but personal matters saw to it that he moved out of Germany, leaving CRYSTAL PALACE without a drummer yet again. Early in 2004 the band lost their studio location as well, and had to rebuild their recording studio at a new location. In November 2004 the new studio location was up and running.

After experimenting with the use of drum loops while recording, the band decided to call Frank Fuhrmann. He was one of the drummers who helped out at the start of the band's career, and he also gave drum lessons on a regular basis. The band thought he might know of a drummer that could fit the band; but he decided to join himself instead. Some further studio time culminated in the release of the E...
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CRYSTAL PALACE discography


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CRYSTAL PALACE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 26 ratings
On the Edge of the World
1995
3.14 | 21 ratings
Demon in You
2001
3.20 | 21 ratings
Psychedelic Sleep
2003
3.48 | 20 ratings
Acoustic Years
2006
3.08 | 38 ratings
Reset
2010
3.93 | 94 ratings
The System of Events
2013
3.90 | 137 ratings
Dawn of Eternity
2016
3.78 | 38 ratings
Scattered Shards
2018
4.06 | 26 ratings
Still There
2022

CRYSTAL PALACE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 9 ratings
Pure
2012

CRYSTAL PALACE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Scattered over Europe
2021

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

4.13 | 6 ratings
Through the Years
2005

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Children of the Sun
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
Unplugged by the Shadow
2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
Eisbär'n Forever
2003
5.00 | 1 ratings
Studio Jam 2004/05
2005

CRYSTAL PALACE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Still There by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.06 | 26 ratings

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Still There
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I can't believe it has been more than 30 years now in Crystal Palace's existance. To function in obscurity for so long, it deserves respect. The band's sound has evolved over time, but for the last 20 years settled into a kind of melancholic neo-prog mode with mellow vocals but with occasional heavier bursts, of which there have been more over the last albums. The band is very balanced, with the synths and guitar complementing not outshining each other, focusing on atmospherics and melodicism. Points of reference may be a bleaker version of their German compatriots RPWL, and on this particular album, the moody American duo Disconnect (probably not a coincidence that a song here is titled, and similar in vibe to, Planned Obsolesence - just like a latter one's album!). "Still There" is a story-driven concept album, with the story being of bright hopes and suicide (a topic well-covered in rpog). Some songs may be listened to individually, and some are more of a mood setter/plot explaining pieces, but the correct recipe of course is to listen in continuity, as the flow of the album is quite well arranged.
 Still There by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.06 | 26 ratings

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Still There
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars The latest album from German neo-prog band Crystal Palace is a concept album based on a tragic event in bassist/singer's Yenz's life. One day he was climbing the stairs of a lookout in a public recreation area in his hometown of Berlin and saw the words "Still Alive" and "Still There" freshly written on the walls of each new floor. A few days later he read about a double suicide which had taken place on the day he saw the writings, and that became a story he could not get out of his mind so developed this album around what might have happened to those involved to get them to this point. This is a dark subject, and not one which has often been covered in prog music, and certainly not one to be taken lightly.

The colours in the booklet are all white/grey/black, with the lyrics superimposed on photos telling different parts of the story, while the background is included at the rear. Needless to say, the music behind this story is somewhat reflective, and while solidly neo-prog there are often more keyboards than one might expect from this style of prog. That is not to say that we don't get rock, but it is often abrasive and fitting in perfectly with the storyline. This is a deep piece of work, and it did take me quite a few listens before I felt I had got inside it, as the first time it just washed over me as I was not in the right frame of mind for it. It is dark, yet not always depressing, melancholic in places yet slightly more in your face in others.

This must have been a difficult album to bring together, as while the lyrics are a viewpoint, at the centre of this album is the true story of lives cut short. Attempting to be true to the concept without adding in too much colour or change must have been difficult and striking the balance between entertainment and producing something no-one would want to listen to is also challenging. I can imagine this album will have many detractors due to the subject matter and what Crystal Palace have attempted to achieve, but in reality, it is a complex and complicated piece of progressive rock with real depth.

 Still There by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.06 | 26 ratings

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Still There
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by KansasForEver

5 stars "Still There", the first concept album in the career of the Berlin group CRYSTAL PALACE in thirty-one years of existence and only the ninth release for our Teutonic friends, four years after the somewhat disappointing "Scattered Shards", which followed it is true to the two excellent previous opuses "System of Events" (2013) and "Dawn of Eternity" (2016), as they say "you can't win or please every time"!

And this "Still There" is based on a true story, which in my opinion enhances its interest, a tragic event in the life of Yenz STRUTZ, climbing the stairs to the gazebo in a public park in his hometown BERLIN, when he saw the sentences "still alive", "still there" on each new floor, written a few minutes before his passage... A few days later, the revelation in the newspaper of a double suicide at this place... Inevitably the the kind of things that are indelibly etched in a man's memory.

One hundred and twenty-six marches, mostly instrumental, brilliantly open the album and install the atmosphere that will not leave us for seventy-seven minutes, we already feel an unparalleled darkness (8/10). The relatively calm "Leaving this Land" which follows, offers a proven Mindsian and Bowian touch in its title but also in its development with a monstrous bass guitar, we are close to the very high musical level (9/10). "A Plan" very rock, as much spoken as sung, with the six strings full gallop of Nils CONRAD and the keyboards of Franz KOHLER which are no less so (around the third minute), presents a CRYSTAL PALACE at the height of its art , much more complex than it seems at first sight (second third of the piece) before a progressive decrescendo to go to the end of the piece (9/10).

Small freshness break after its first twenty-two minutes of high flight with "Winter's End on Water", ballad without drums (except the last twenty seconds), welcome breathing (7/10) before starting again on violent good and heavy good with "Dear Mother" (from the Black Sabbath in a way), aired by a female voice (the mother?) (8/10). "Planned Obsolescence" is a mid tempo with a technoid connotation which gets a little carried away in its last quarter, nothing great but nothing bad either (8/10) on which is linked a powerful melodic rush "Orange Popsicle Sky" , voluntarily popizing (the hit of the album!) with a Franz KOHLER at the top of his keyboard art fed by a demonic sound, oufti my cousin! I love it (9/10).

Three short tracks in a row (less than five minutes each) are coming, "Shadows" also technoid and still quite violent, which I didn't really appreciate (6/10), then "A Scream from the Wall " which represents the wall annotations of the floors as Yenz progresses towards the top of the belvedere (7/10), also very energetic and finally "These Stairs" the most accessible of the three, in terms of melody, and this despite the blows of Nils' snouts, Franz's piano and keyboards judiciously softening the subject (8/10).

Then place the longest title of the work with "The Unquite Window" soft in opening with a welcome lace of acoustic guitar, a lyricism on edge or rather on edge of strings and keys, a piece which definitely propels CRYSTAL PALACE towards the upper echelons of progressive music (10/10), listen to the bass guitar on this track in particular...

Let's leave our German friends with the concluding and eponymous "Still There", the key word appearing on the wall on each floor, another mid tempo at its start which gains in dramatic intensity and energy as it progresses, remarkably and powerfully sung by Yenz STRUTZ (like a Damian WILSON), excellent track (9/10) to conclude an excellent disc, not easy to understand however given its duration and the subject evoked, many listenings being clearly necessary here to extract the substantial musical marrow.

 Scattered Shards by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.78 | 38 ratings

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Scattered Shards
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

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.

 Scattered Shards by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.78 | 38 ratings

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Scattered Shards
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band CRYSTAL PALACE are one of the many bands that have been around long enough to merit a description as veterans. This band has been an ongoing venture for more than 25 years at this point, and in the last few years it would appear that they have started to gain more recognition as well. "Scattered Shards" is their eighth studio production, and was released through German label Progressive Promotion Records in 2018.

Crystal Palace as of 2018 comes across as a band that has a good take in reinventing neo-progressive rock, mainly by way of adding liberal amounts of electronic and metal tinges to the material, and in a more flamboyant and expressive manner than on previous occasions at that, but this is also a band that doesn't shy away from including gentler touches pointing back to older musical traditions when they feel for it. Perhaps one of the most daring neo-progressive rock albums I have encountered in a while, and a production I suspect quite a few will regard as being more of a progressive metal album actually. A fine production though, and a core audience here would be those who enjoy neo-progressive rock just as much as progressive metal, at least in my opinion.

 Scattered Shards by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.78 | 38 ratings

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Scattered Shards
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars By modern standards a second album in three years is a pretty torrid pace. But perhaps we reviewers do matter, and accolades for their 2016 opus Dawn of Eternity inspired them to keep up the flame. Crystal Palace's style has evolved over the years, but Scattered Shards continues in the similar vein as its predecessor, offering an accessible mixture of dreamier and heavier passages coated with a mysterious vibe and warm vocals similar to RPWL and Porcupine Tree. It's clearly Pink Floyd and neo-prog inspired stuff, but just as well might be in bed with mainstream bands such as U2 or even Coldplay, if they were heavier and more complex. What the new album does lack, though, is the abundance of killer melodies that Dawn had, but its still above-average .
 Scattered Shards by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.78 | 38 ratings

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Scattered Shards
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars The album starts with a peaceful and melodic ballad ending with an ambient passage. The second song starts with the same ending of the first song and in the same mood, before an explosion of guitars in the progressive metal style, and it all comes down with a delicate touch of piano and some acoustic guitar. The vocals of Yenz Strurz are familiar and enjoyable, you will surely find a reference with many singers in the Neo-Prog world. The keyboards of Frank Kohler doesn't deceive with some beautiful melodies. The music seems to mix the Prog Rock with the Metal including many breaks and acoustic parts a bit like a more melodic version of Haken. "The Logic of Fear" is very well developed with some electronic effects and some impressive guitar riffs in a melody that is slowly getting some momentum." Outside the Box" close the album like the album started with a ballad who is really a continuation of the first song. The songs are very solid from start to finish with a big production and show how far can go the Neo-Prog bands with so much Prog Metal influences in their songs. I am sure that this band has succeeded in this direction where a band like Knight Area has failed.
 Dawn of Eternity by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.90 | 137 ratings

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Dawn of Eternity
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band CRYSTAL PALACE has a history going back more than 20 years, but has spent the greater majority of these as something of an underground entity known by a select few. However, things started to change ever so slightly in that department a few years back, and then especially after the band signed with the German label Gentle Art of Music. "Dawn of Eternity" is their latest studio album, and was released through the aforementioned label in the summer of 2016.

Crystal Palace as of 2016 comes across as a quality band firmly placed within a neo-progressive rock general sphere of reference. Layered keyboards and careful to majestic guitar and keyboards-driven arrangements with a strong focus on melodies and harmonies are the order of the day, with contrasts carefully explored rather than dramatically applied. Those with an interest in later day neo-progressive rock should find this production to be a rewarding one, and those who tend to enjoy listening to bands such as RPWL will most likely find this album to be of interest as well.

 On the Edge of the World by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.41 | 26 ratings

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On the Edge of the World
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I had recently heard about this obscure little band from Germany, but had no idea their career went as far back as 1994. So I was curious to get their debut CD. And I was quite pleased with what I heard. 1995´s On The Edge Of The World is full of fine songs and good performances of all involved, except the production department, which made things too glossy and too 80´s sounding. Which is really a pity since the band proved to be fine songwriters from the get go. Their sound here is a mix of Fish era Marillion with some strong AOR/melodic rock tendencies. The results are quite interesting. Of course, if you´re looking for long instrumental parts, explicit displays oif virtuosity and any freakishness, you´ll find none. But if you like nice melodies, strong hooks and very well played tunes you´ll also be delighted with this album.

The longer songs like the title track, Puppet In Your Hand and the obvious Marillion influenced Silly Clown are the most progressive and interesting, but the others are also good. Vocalist Helmut Hirt has an excellent voice that works very well both on the more dramatic prog cuts and the high pitched, very demanding AOR parts. All musicians are quite accomplished too, with some fine guitar lines and solos throughout the whole disc.

On The Edge Of The World is a fine little CD that will please the ones who like good melodic songs with a strong progressive feel and arrangements. Nothing very original or to write home about it, much less essential but good nonetheless.

RAting|: somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. Nice start. I´m looking forward to listen to its follow ups.

 Through the Years by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
4.13 | 6 ratings

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Through the Years
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Through the Years is a compilation from Crystal Palace's first decade of recording career with an emphasis on their synth-pop influenced sound (but with energy of hard rock and bombast of neo-prog). Can't say I would've picked the same tracks or agree with the decision to fill up space with two long but irrelevant bonus tracks, but overall it's a nice presentation of this melody-first neo-prog band that also isn't afraid to experiment with ambiances. At least some of the tunes seem to be new mixes or recorded with better equipment - pretty close to the original, but richer and more detailed in sound (unlike many other neo-prog bands, they used to feature two guitarists in addition to synths).
Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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