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Crimson Glory - Transcendence CD (album) cover


Crimson Glory


Progressive Metal

4.05 | 164 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Crimson Glory are one of the most influential bands in both power and progressive metal circles, and after listening to Transcendence, I am in awe of why this band did not make it big. This album is probably the benchmark by which all albums in the progressive power metal genre are judged, as this album delivers in every way, from start to finish. Transcendence is one of those albums that come along once in a lifetime, the type of album that influences a whole genre of music, as bands like Conception and Kamelot have been very influenced by this style of music. Even this album came out in the same year as Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime", it can rival with the high quality of this concept piece, if not top it at times.

Basically, the music of Crimson Glory is a cross of the vocal work and rhythm of bands like Queensryche and the instrumental precision of Sanctuary. So what we have here is a power and progressive metal hybrid, although there are not a lot of time changes and classical influence. You won't really find any keyboard work here, but you will find some of the vocal stylings commonly associated with progressive metal, and much of the music found here is in the style of Rage For Order Queensryche and Refuge Denied Sanctuary, especially vocally. Midnight sounds like a cross of Geoff Tate and Warrel Dane (when he was in Sanctuary and prior to Nevermore.) So, in other words, expect great vocal work here. Also expect to find razor-sharp production and guitar work, but don't expect to find a lot of thrash-style drumming. The drumming is very good, but you're not going to hear a lot of double-bass drumming and triple-time blast beats.

01 - Lady Of Winter: This is the first song here, and it features a nice flow, with high- pitched Midnight vocals. How does he hit those notes without rupturing his vocal cords? The guitar playing is very good, as the production of the album shows how etched and refined the riffs are. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

02 - Red Sharks: It is the heaviest song on the record and lyrically deals with Communism and the Soviet Union, as suggested by the song title. This is one of those songs that is almost impossible to not headbang to. The intro riffs are good, and the drumming is rhythmic, but very steady and strong. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

03 - Painted Skies: That piece is an excellent ballad, with an excellent vocal performance from Midnight, making me wonder how his vocal cords hold up. It contains one of the most haunting and memorable refrains I ever heard, extremely beautiful and deep! (Track rating: 9.5/10 points)

04 - Masque Of The Red Death: Has almost a thrashy rhythm to it, and falsetto is the norm for the vocals once again here. (Track rating: 8.5/10 points)

05 - In Dark Places: One of the absolute best songs on the disc is "In Dark Places", which features excellent riffing, and a very driving and to-the-point flow. Once again the riffs are very etched and refined here, and the drumming performance is very steady and strong. And man, the vocals! Midnight is probably one of the top vocalists in heavy metal history, and he shows why here. The lyrics of "In Dark Places" are also top-quality. A masterpiece in it's own right! (Track rating: 10/10 points)

06 - Where Dragons Rule: It is another top-quality vocal performance from Midnight, and the riffs are once again, crystal clear. (Track rating: (8.5/10 points)

07 - Lonely: One of the best uptempo-ballads in metal history! The guitar work is stunning and the vocals of Midnight here give the song it's important character. I only can highly recommend to download it here free on the archives! (Track rating: 9.5/10 points)

08 - Burning Bridges: We finally reached the absolutely highlight of the record. The performance of Midnight here is not describable in words, he brings so much feel in the verses here, which makes it to one of the real great ballads in metal history. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

09 - Eternal World: It contains some complex breaks and riffing, which are always powerful and brilliantly played. After three minutes there comes a very heavy instrumental part, which is in a cool prog-metal style and flues in the final track on the record. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

10 - Transcendence: The title track is the grand final, with magic atmosphere, superb melodies and the great voice of Midnight. This is an outstanding song in whole metal history, Midnight sings here like Robert Plant in some parts, which is a great thing and shows what an superb singer he was. Sadly this was already the zenith of Crimson Glory, with the next album "Strange And Beautiful" they fell down from the top of the hill, reached the bottomline and never get up. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

Overall, this is a splendid power/prog release. Unfortunately, this album is out of print stateside, so if you find this in an import bin (Transcendence is still in print in Europe), you owe it to yourself to pick this album up. Highliest recommended to fans of old Queensryche, Kamelot or Conception and prog/power metal in general! All others should give it a spin too, it's really a metal masterpiece of the late 80's and still one of the highest quality metal albums of all time.

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Record rating: 9 + 9 + 9.5 + 8.5 + 10 + 8.5 + 9.5 + 10 + 9 + 10 = 93/10 tracks = 9.3 = 9.5 points

Crimson Glory - "Transcendence": 9.5/10 points = 93 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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