|Review: Crosswind - Opposing Forces|
Label: Stormspell Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Speed/Power Metal
Review online: August 6, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Sometimes, the only response you can have when you hear something is "Holy SHIT!" Sometimes a band just comes out of nowhere and kicks your ass so hard you end up wearing it for a hat. Crosswind are a band from Greece with no label, and only two demos under their belts. Normally, when a band releases a compilation of demos before they even have an album out I see it as pointless, but one song in and you know instantly why Stormspell records issued this: it is awesome.
Crosswind play Power/Speed Metal in the vein of Stormwarrior, Cryonic Temple, or Wizard, only with the speed on "Full" pretty much nonstop. And I don't mean half-assed guitars while the drummer works the bass pedals to generate 'speed', I mean ripping, warp-speed guitar harmonies that give me cramps in my air-guitar hand. The guitar work of axe team Leon Tsorbatzoglou and Haris Vavalides is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and they just rule this whole album with their sharp, fast, incredibly tight playing. This is a disc made up of two compiled demos, but you would never know that if I hadn't just told you, as the production is powerful and consistent, the musicianship is superlative, and the songs are tight and efficient speed metal machines. Vocalist/Guitarist Kyriakos Vasdokas has a powerful, versatile voice that powers out the lines over the nonstop guitar awesomeness. The cover of Queensryche's "Walk In The Shadows" sees him really stretching, and he isn't quite the singer Geoff Tate was back then, but falling a little short of Tate at the height of his powers is no shame, and the rest of the band wrings more depth and texture out of the song than I thought possible.
This is just a disc of never-ending delights, from the shredding "Nephilim Rising", to the Maidenesque riffs of "Awakening" through the kickass "Eye of the Storm" and "March of the Slaves" there isn't a dull moment on this disc. If Crosswinds have a flaw it's that their vocal melodies are not as hooky and exciting as their guitar riffs, and so the songs are not as instantly memorable as they could be. But it is impossible to argue with a band this good on demos, demos for fuck's sake. This band deserves to be signed to a serious label right now, because they are amazingly good, and the prospect of them getting even better is kind of mind blowing. Power Metal fans should not miss this for anything.
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