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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In 1998 Hirt left the band, but by November of the same year he had been replaced by Tom Young (vocals).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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Dawn of EternityDawn of Eternity
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$10.24
$51.99 (used)
Systems of EventsSystems of Events
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$10.84
$10.84 (used)
ResetReset
Import
Crystal Palace
Audio CD$19.99 (used)
Systems of Events by Crystal Palace (2013-10-15)Systems of Events by Crystal Palace (2013-10-15)
Ais
Audio CD$64.16
Crystal Palace / EverybodyCrystal Palace / Everybody
Ground Control 9
Vinyl$4.35 (used)
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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)

3.40 | 19 ratings
On the Edge of the World
1995
3.11 | 16 ratings
Demon in You
2001
3.14 | 15 ratings
Psychedelic Sleep
2003
3.42 | 15 ratings
Acoustic Years
2006
3.04 | 31 ratings
Reset
2010
3.92 | 74 ratings
The System of Events
2013
4.17 | 64 ratings
Dawn of Eternity
2016

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

3.94 | 7 ratings
Pure
2012

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

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

4.13 | 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
 On the Edge of the World by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.40 | 19 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).
 Acoustic Years by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.42 | 15 ratings

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Acoustic Years
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars I've always thought that going acoustic fits Crystal Palace well. For them the main focus is good melodies (which seems to be a particular forte for German neo-prog bands), and that translates well into the acoustic. In fact they have two releases in that vein (one studio, one live). This one features slower, simpler and more melancholic takes on their "metallic synth-pop" songs from the second and third album. However, given that Crystal Palace is such an (undeservingly) obscure band, and you probably don't have time to wander through their entire discography, if you wish to pick one, take the live Pure concert from the "acoustic international conspiracy" tour. Its's more energetic.
 Demon in You by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.11 | 16 ratings

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Demon in You
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars For their second album, Crystal Palace toned down somewhat the over-the-topness of their debut, but what remains is still synth- fueled bombastic rock with a mysterious vibe (though not strictly prog). The bassist Yenz Sturtz (the only ever-present member of the band) takes over the vocal duties. He can do a melodramatic and crooning delivery, but his better vocal work is still ahead. Instrumental work is strong - bass is ringing and guitars wail when need be. What makes the Demon In You album not an essential one in Crystal Palace's discography is the rather pedestrian nature of songs (the most complex one, the instrumental Aurora Borealis, has cool ideas, but is repetitive somewhat and marred by spoken word samples), not the strongest ones that they have to offer.
 On the Edge of the World by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.40 | 19 ratings

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On the Edge of the World
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Crystal Palace's debut is a very time-specific album, recalling of the times when neo-prog wasn't so dark and metallic. It's similar to earliy-era Arena or Pendragon, of better yet, Clive Nolan's before-Arena synth-pop influenced project Shadowland. On the Edge of the World has glossy production values of the 80s synth pop and commercial hard rock - theatrical vocals, cheesy pseudo-classical synths and loud airy guitars. Songs are relatively compact, and in addition to multi-part ones there are the typical 80s style theatrical (you see I use this word a lot here) fast rocker and theatrical ballad. Well I'm all for lots of lead guitar lines and passionate vocals, but even I think there is too much of this here, making it hard to focus on the stable melodies. Its not bad, but nothing that bands such as Arena didn't do better.
 Pure by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Live, 2012
3.94 | 7 ratings

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Pure
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Pure is a live, mostly acoustic release from German neo-prog/heavy prog/new-wave act Crystal Palace. With one exception, it contains outtakes from the Reset album (so, you don't get their two more known releases, System of Events and Dawn of Eternity). To me, an acoustic set is an ultimate test for proggers, because when you strip down the bombast, you can see how strong the melodic foundation is. It works for Crystal Palace, for you see how their songs can be ballad-y reflections that touch you on a personal level. On The Darkest Hour the original beginning heavy part gets a more pronounced Eastern feeling, and Distant Shores, on the other hand, gets an extended bluesy rendition. Its a short album, five live tracks and a glacial ambient remix of several themes from Reset.
 Psychedelic Sleep by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.14 | 15 ratings

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Psychedelic Sleep
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars For those of you familiar with Crystal Palace's epic neo-prog of their later albums, this one is of a different flavor. 80s style synth-rock, 7 five-minute songs in total, kind of like the approach Rush took in the 80s and other purely synth rock band. I wouldn't say that either guitars or keys dominate, they both sound equally. Some songs, like Welcome to our lives and 1000 miles from Eden, have a pleasant lead melody, overall the album is nothing remarkable. The vocalist, Jens Uwe Strutz, who would develop into a good singer, here tries to sing in over-mannered style of 80s synth pop bands, but I think tries jut a little too hard so it comes across as strained. Between 2 and 3 stars.
 Reset by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.04 | 31 ratings

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Reset
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars On Reset, Crystal Palace go for longer song structures and a darker mood, while still opting for accessibility over challenging the listener. In contrast to 2003's Psychedelic Sleep, songs here take a while to develop and aim for a kind of an epic feel. Shorter tracks like Drowning on Dry Land also show the band's 80's synth-pop influences with their melancholic and romantic moods. And while songs here have their moments (love the ascetic riff transitioning to the main part of The Darkest Hour, for example), this reviewer feels that the epic songwriting and emotional vocals remain a work in progress at this stage, culminating in an awesome fashion on 2016's Dawn of Eternity.
 The System of Events by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 74 ratings

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The System of Events
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Crystal Palace has a curious career trajectory, only beginning to hit their stride 20 years into existence. The System of Events is better than 2010's Reset, but pales in comparison with 2016's Dawn of Eternity. Songs are good, but aren't as dynamic or flashy, often consisting of lengthy passages in one style before going into another mood, rather than dynamically shifting their sound. There are several faces of neo-prog on display here. A darker, more heavy and electronic one, like Porcupine Tree (but with better singing). But also happier, moderately bombastic and mellower kind that fellow Germans RPWL play (indeed, their players are featured here). I hate to ape other reviewers by bringing those band comparisons, but they are pretty accurate here. Three and a half stars.
 Dawn of Eternity by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.17 | 64 ratings

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Dawn of Eternity
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

5 stars By now the melancholic neo-prog bands that update their sound by playing heavier, with more modern electronics and anthemic choruses, seem as common as the pompous prog metal bands of the Dream Theater variety. Crystal Palace on their latest CD delivers a predictable but enjoyable variation on that style, somewhere between Porcupine Tree and fellow Germans RPWL (who have taken them under their label wing), with some plunderings from U2 and Pink Floyd, of course. Music alternates between softer and heavier passages, with the emotional vocals, competent lyrics (and the band name) you'd think this is a UK band, but no. I understand that they have been toiling in obscurity for 20 years, but hopefully this album will introduce them to a larger audience.
Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to rivertree for the last updates

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