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CRYSTAL PALACE

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Crystal Palace biography
Based in Berlin, Germany, CRYSTAL PALACE started out in 1994, 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In 1998 Hirt left the band, but by November of the same year he had been replaced by Tom Young (vocals).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 t...
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Systems of EventsSystems of Events
Import
Ais 2013
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CRYSTAL PALACE discography


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

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

3.50 | 6 ratings
On the Edge of the World
1995
3.08 | 6 ratings
Demon in You
2001
3.40 | 5 ratings
Psychedelic Sleep
2003
3.67 | 6 ratings
Acoustic Years
2006
2.98 | 20 ratings
Reset
2010
3.91 | 61 ratings
The System of Events
2013

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

3.67 | 3 ratings
Pure
2012

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Through the Years
2005

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Children of the Sun
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unplugged by the Shadow
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eisbär'n Forever
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Studio Jam 2004/05
2005

CRYSTAL PALACE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Demon in You by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.08 | 6 ratings

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Demon in You
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Keyboard and drumming duties were always a problem for Crystal Palace during their premature phase, the first part being permanently solved in 1998 with the addition of Stefan Weber, while different drummers helped the band around the time.In 2000 singer Helmut Hirt decided to part ways with Crystal Palace and bassist Jens Uwe Strutz took over the place, being familiar with writing the lyrics and arranging the vocal lines of the songs.2001 sees the release of Crystal Palace's second album ''Demon in you''.

Crystal Palace's sound comes from another age in this album, being very 80's-sounding and recalling the raw, underground acts of the British Islands, adding a few modern touches with distortions and effects at some point.Strutz appears to have a pretty nice voice with just a slight accent, efficient enough though to follow the music.The start of the album is really dissapointing with the rather straightforward opening rockers having certain New Wave influences but few good moments to remember, except for the self-titled track, which is quite nice with great, rough instrumental parts and decent vocals, even if a bit accesible.The quality will increase over the next tracks, which show Crystal Palace meeting their heavier and more bombastic sound, reducing the New Wave inspirations and getting back to a powerful Neo Prog, eventually with the keyboard player becoming an important part of the music and the guitar work ranging from sharp to virtuosic to even dramatic.This is definitely the band's best suited style, structured around passionate guitar riffs and breaks and slightly orchestral keyboard lines, leading often to more sensitive and light performances with romantic vocals and dreamy, background keyboards.Far from complex, the music remains still very interesting with an epic sound and compact songwriting, which switches from lyrical, ethereal material to grandiose and heavy musicianship.

Crystal Palace's nice debut was definitely more consistent, but ''Demon in you'' retains much of the first album's quality performances.Angular Heavy/Neo Prog with a dramatic edge.Recommended.

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 The System of Events by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 61 ratings

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The System of Events
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band CRYSTAL PALACE has been around for more than twenty years at this point, steadily releasing albums that have been pleasantly received by the ones in the know over the years, but without any measurable success on a strictly commercial level from what I understand. In 2012 the band underwent a slight personnel revolution, with a new drummer and guitarist joining the ranks. This was followed by a deal with the German indie label Gentle Art of Music, which released Crystal Palace's sixth studio album "The System of Events" in the fall of 2013.

Crystal Palace doesn't seek out any new, unfamiliar grounds with their sixth album "The System of Events", a production just about split half and half between Porcupine Tree and RPWL in terms of likely inspirations for the sound, mood and atmospheres explored and with a couple of instances where features from both of these influential bands appear. The compositions are well-made and performed however, a strong production as far as I'm concerned, and as long as you enjoy both of the aforementioned bands you should most likely find this album to be an enjoyable experience.

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 The System of Events by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 61 ratings

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The System of Events
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Crystal Palace is not the British football team named after a famous Victorian landmark in London but a German neo-prog band that has had a quiet career up to now. For their sixth release, ''The System of Events'' , the band has done some major improvements , namely a fabulous cover with mesmerizing appeal, the enlistment of some famous sidemen in RPWL's Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang but also the celebrated Porcupine Tree bass man Colin Edwin and finally some punchy material that rocks, spooks and titillates. Their sound is squarely in the PT mold with hard-hitting moody pieces and expert playing by all instrumentalists

''Chasing Better Days'' is a scorching opening salvo, a dark and somber universe where pinging synths leap over ponging drums, harsh bass blasting the road ahead, crunchy guitars boldly marching forward. Lead vocalist Yenz has a pleasant enough voice, mostly hushed in the verse then veering towards a more assertive yelp in the chorus. I detect a slight classic Golden Earring tinge that has more keyboards, a slew of electronic effects to add spice and heat. The song is immediately appealing and has tons of staying power over repeated visits.

The bruising ''As Heaven Dies'' is another doom-laden affair, Nils Conrad thrashing hard on his axe, the pace depth charge-laden and robotic , the keys showing a sense of playful fantasy that owes a lot to PT man Richard Barbieri while the bass and drums pounding loudly. Lots of contrast with softer acoustic interludes, the song becomes a sure-fire pleasure in the playlist.

The acme is reached on the imperial ''Beautiful Nightmare'', a 12 minute groove fest that has the hallmarks of classic prog stamped all over it, an obsessively clanging guitar riff introduces a first section full of invention and atmosphere, Yenz singing emotionally over pools of piano droplets. The chorus is reminiscent of vintage RPWL, smooth as silk yet tinged with a certain sense of discomfort expressed by the brooding lyrics. But where this arrangement just goes off the charts is the segue into a Led Zep-like mood fest a la ''No Quarter'', bombastic drum beat from stickman Frank Brennekam, synthesized electric-piano pillows, and shriekingly obsessive guitar licks. In fact, Conrad does a little Page/Hendrix show on his guitar neck, wringing all kinds of emotional juice out of his beleaguered instrument. Words cannot describe the forceful quality of this masterpiece! With lyrics like ''I Like to watch, I like to touch but I need to stop'', it also sends massive amounts of eeriness to the receptive brain. And just like any nightmare, it has a slightly positive shift in pace, by letting the sun in for some reality.

In a master stroke of genius, the band has constructed a logical contrast to the gruesome dread by waking up to bright shiny and uplifting song. Really? The rays shine through the blinds, the aroma of fresh coffee caressing the nose, the body revitalized is now smiling. ''Green Way'' is a perfect prog-pop song that would induce smiles from even the staunchest prog freak, a mercifully gorgeous guitar solo reaching for the noon zenith, the wondrously positive lyrics and upbeat disposition. 'Meinen Herren, wirklich ausgezeichnet!' I must applaud musical intelligence when it is so brilliantly obvious and in this context, this is lovely stuff, indeed. Well played, well crafted.

But hey, these guys are no pop star wannabees, they are dense and tense rockers who like to stretch the limits of their muse, so what better material then the worst case scenario possible, the inability to rest and refresh. ''Sleepless' proposes a pile driving beat that ushers in another heavy slab of molten concrete neo-prog, slamming hard and dis- comfortably, the raunchy fret board coughing raspy riffs, Yenz crying ''dreams crash and burn, can't find peace of mind'' with wobbly conviction. Yeah, this is more groove-led doom and gloom, I guess it's back to reality, err.......the darker one. This is closer to 'In Absentia' or even 'Fear of a Blank Planet' in terms of style and pace, not exactly the worst reference one can think of. Pounding and relentless, ultimately unforgiving with keysman Frank Kohler doing some lovely colorations.

Speaking of which, he introduces a forlorn piano for the troubling and psychotic 'Stunned by the Silence', a gruesome subject matter that has quickly become the scourge of the 21st century. What a world we live in when going to school is equated with ultimate lethal danger, be it in Norway, Afghanistan, Beslan, Dunblane, Sandy Hook and closer to home for the band , in Winnenden and Erfurt, Germany. Its a world-wide epidemic that has no solutions. Needless to say, this is a sad, sad song.

''Breathe'' is heavy, weighty and hefty, giving no mercy to the gulping audience, another 10 minute+ epic conflagration that devastates everything in its passage. As the title implies, there is a disquieting sense of claustrophobia (Ja, Klaus!), of choking pain interrupted only by seismic coughing, led by a gritty guitar and a Formula One rhythm section that takes no prisoners. Cinemascope synthesizer walls only enhance the stranglehold and the chorus is encompassing and panoramic. Changes in contrast only highlights the deep agony. Just marvelous music!

This tremendous recording rolls into the terminus with the epic title track, perhaps the most ambitious piece yet, clocking in just over 13 minutes and infusing a vast variety of new wrinkles. It starts off somewhat innocuously, almost like a Supertramp song, with forceful piano and penetrating voice up front and center. Smooth and hummable, the arrangement delves into a philosophical debate on the nature of humanity ('And in the end, it's all the same, we are the pawns of destiny'), the systemization of our routine, a fake world where news is never new, where politics is never about the people, where using technology only promotes addiction and willing subservience. Mellotron soothes the CNN flash effects but cannot erase the endless violence, the social suffering and the desensitization of our brave new world order. Issues that too few musical artists dare to address, it's good to see and hear of a neo-prog band that does it with so much flair. The choir-laden finale has a jewel-like gleam that hits home with complete satisfaction, perhaps the ideal Floydian moment on this disc.

A damn fine album that has no weak or soft moments, no dialing in or cruise control. A total package of perfection !

5 schemes of procedure

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 The System of Events by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 61 ratings

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The System of Events
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars I wasn't sure what to expect from a band called Crystal Palace. I mean, it seems like I'll be hearing about fairies or grommets or something. Yet, this band has a great sound, and---not a goblin in sight. I was actually a little disappointed: I love some good fantasy music.

My first impression of Crystal Palace was very good, as they slightly remind me of the Polish band Votum. What this means is that these Germans have a darker, more melodic sound that is somewhere between neo-prog and prog metal. There is lots of grooving bass, but also plenty of lighter riffs, atmospheric keys, and accent-laden vocals. Yes, the riffing almost seems nervous, and this adds to the overall feelings of tension, emotion, and sorrow.

As for the tracks themselves, the mood is usually somber, but the tempo changes. We get heavier, groovy tracks like "Breathe", "Sleepless", or "As Heaven Dies", but we also get slow, thoughtful tracks like "Stunned by the Silence" or "Green Way". The title track itself is a proggy ode to the ideas presented, and a really great closer that grows on you quite a bit.

"The System of Events" is an excellent title for this album. The lyrics cover the idea of coming to terms with life, and even taking hold of it. It covers many different topics, from school shootings to longings for better days. Indeed, "Stunned by the Silence" is about a cowardly school shooting, and it is rank with emotion and breathless thoughts. It is truly a track that requires silence. I don't wholly agree with the philosophy presented in this album, but I do agree that coming to terms with the system of events is better for us all.

With a great sound and concept, "The System of Events" is an excellent album that seeks to draw us into its message through emotional highs and lows. Thoughtful and introspective, Crystal Palace has crafted a great sounding album that fans of Riverside, Anathema, Votum, etc. will enjoy very much.

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 Reset by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.98 | 20 ratings

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Reset
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 16 or so years after their formation, German act Crystal Palace release their fifth full length album, some 4 years after their previous acoustic effort and 7 years after their last full fledged studio effort.

And while their previous excursions have been closer to vintage neo-prog in style this album marks a change for the band, who have opted to explore much more of a Porcupine Tree inspired style this time around. And more specifically, a variety of this style pretty close to what can be found on the "Fear of a Blank Planet" CD. As the album evolves Crystal Palace manage to blend their old style with their new approach, and while the opening cuts may fail in innovation and creativity this aspect gets better as the album unfold. The later tracks isn't as engaging and well made as the opening efforts though, where Damaged Good in particular suffers from a slight lack of range and some minor pronouncation issues from lead vocalist Strutz, highlighted by what I regard as a somewhat flawed chorus segment.

When that is said, there are many fine efforts offered on this production, and the piano-driven ballad Cinescope Dreams that ends this disc is a treat, featuring neat symphonic backdrops and strings besides the well crafted piano motif explored throughout. Fans of acts like Porcupine Tree and Sylvan might want to give this one a shot.

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 Reset by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.98 | 20 ratings

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Reset
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

2 stars What a very disappointing album.

I ve got a promo copy but i think i won,t make the effort to have an original.

I ve listened to their firs albums and they are a quite good neo prog material ..with influences of Pendragon,Arena and Marillion(Fish era).

I don,t know why they didn,t stay in that way.

They made the move to the hard prog....but this is not an original hard prog....is a kind of clone of today,s Porcupine Tree with elements of Dream Theater and may be Opeth.

Sorry but i think they will fall to the hole of the mediocre hard prog rock bands.

Only 2 stars for me.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to rivertree for the last updates

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