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Crystal Palace - On The Edge Of The World CD (album) cover


Crystal Palace


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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.
Report this review (#1638095)
Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2016 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
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. 1995s 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 80s 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 youre looking for long instrumental parts, explicit displays oif virtuosity and any freakishness, youll find none. But if you like nice melodies, strong hooks and very well played tunes youll 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. Im looking forward to listen to its follow ups.

Report this review (#1647437)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2016 | Review Permalink

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