|Review: Twisted Tower Dire - Crest of the Martyrs|
|Crest of the Martyrs|
Label: Remedy Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: October 10, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Crest of the Martyrs
Rated 4.73/5 (94.55%) (33 Votes)
Truth be told, I had never been impressed by Twisted Tower Dire before. I heard some tracks off "Isle Of The Hydra", and while they weren't bad, they didn't grab me either. So I wasn't champing at the bit to get this one when I heard about it. But one listen to "Axes & Honor" on MP3.com was enough to put this on my "Must Have It" list right away. Now with the full CD in my hands, I have to say one thing so it is clearly understood: THIS ALBUM RULES!!!!
These days, bands that just play straight ahead Heavy Metal with no frills, no keyboards, no fuckin' anything but fist-in-your-face riffs and raw attitude are rare as condors. Thank you, Remedy Records for being a home to this band. TTD sound like a cross between Iron Maiden circa "Piece Of Mind" and the almighty Paragon – and if that doesn't get your blood going, there is no hope for you. Twisted Tower Dire have no gimmick, they just apply foot to ass and never quit. The sound is excellent, due to a fine production job by Piet Sielck (of Iron Savior, also the knob-twiddler behind Paragon's last two masterpieces). The guitars are heavy as hell, and the mix is crystal clear. There is a very 'live' feel to the recording, as not every mistake has been cleaned up, resulting in a sound that's vibrant and alive – like listening to a first-rate live show.
Style aside, production aside, the real reason this is cool is because the songwriting is just fucking great. On this album TTD prove utterly incapable of writing a bad song, and there are no filler or throwaway cuts. From the crunching opener "At Night" to the headbanging "Axes & Honor" (sure to be a live favorite) and the demonically hooky "Guardian Bloodline" – this all kills, just every damn song. "The Reflecting Pool" starts out all acoustic and soft, and you start to think that you've got a ballad on your hands – until the riff from Hell starts up and kicks your ass around the room. The bonus cut is a re-recording of a song from their debut, and it doesn't disappoint.
This is a Remedy release, which means digipack, about which the less said the better. The cover is pretty good, with a nice color scheme. But it's by Derek Riggs, and I have to say something about him, aside from this CD: I wish he'd knock off the digital shit. He used to be one of the best cover artists in the world, and his painting for Maiden's "Somewhere In Time" is maybe the coolest album cover ever. But now he's made himself into a ‘digital' artist who works only on the computer, and compared to his old stuff it looks like utter shit. The art design inside this booklet is very good, and the lyrics are cool.
I can't say enough good stuff about this CD. It just rules, and I have to say Twisted Tower Dire have made a convert out of me with this release. For good old traditional metal this is the cream of the crop, the absolute best. I could go on and on about each and every song here and how frigging cool they are, but I'm just going tell you to get your ass up and go get this CD right now. Instant classic.
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