Rating:
7.8
Crystal Viper - Crimen Excepta
27 April 2012


01. Witch's Mark
02. Child Of The Flame
03. It's Your Omen
04. Crimen Excepta [feat. David Bower of HELL]
05. Medicus Animarum
06. The Spell Of Death
07. Hope Is Gone
08. Here's New Law
09. Fire Be My Gates


Hailing from Poland, Crystal Viper brings us their semi-unique (not Judas Priest derived) brand of heavy metal, in form of their fourth studio album, Crimen Excepta.

If you have heard their prior releases, this one might be a bit off-putting, since any traces of "German-ness" or speed metal are gone. In other words; this is not another Metal Nation. But it's not exactly a return to their unashamedly '80's and killer 2007 debut album The Curse Of Crystal Viper either.

With a much less upbeat and "METAAAL" feel, the new album is easily their most original sounding attempt yet; which isn't exactly saying much, but still kudos for trying to develop their own sound.

Unfortunately, and it happens way too often when similar-style bands try to fly on their own wings, the quality is a mixed bag. Crystal Viper's musicianship is still great, the guitar licks are still awesome (the band still takes cues from Iron Maiden), but the songwriting lacks consistency.

Too often the music doesn't jump out and grab you as heavy metal should, especially in the first half. Case in point would be the opener "Witch's Mark", which, while not bad, isn't anything special. But "It's Your Omen" is just killer throughout and probably the best on the entire album.

Thankfully the second half of Crimen Excepta is far superior. Starting with "The Spell Of Death", an awesome track, each song delivers and Crystal Viper shows off their typical brilliance.

As a bonus track, Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek from Vader made an appearance on the Vader (!) cover "Tyrants Of Hell" ("Tyrani Piekieł"). I am not a fan of cover songs, but this one, while unexpected on a heavy metal album, but pretty good nevertheless, sure reminded me of another Polish outfit, Stos.

Their, this time around, much better attempt of a "slower" song is a nice contrast to the rest of the album. "Ghosts Of Sherwood", another bonus track, was recorded as a theme song for the 3D cinema horror movie "Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood".

Overall his is a pretty nice album; though the weakest from Crystal Viper. But taken on its own, and especially for their style of heavy metal, it would have been quite impressive, if not for the shaky first half.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Crystal Viper
Album: Crimen Excepta


 



Written on 01.08.2012 by
D.T. Metal
Editor-in-Chief

Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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Truemetaljope - 03.08.2012 at 06:44  
I've pretty much the same thoughts about this album, although I think it's better than Metal Nation and Legends but not as good as The Curse Of Crystal Viper. Furthermore I think "Witch's Mark" is a great song, probably the best song here. But yeah Crimen Excepta isn't an essential album but a nice listen though.
LordD - 03.08.2012 at 16:04  
9/10

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