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Review: Crystal Viper - The Cult
Crystal Viper
The Cult

Label: Listenable Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 44:21
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: January 29, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)

If you like crunchy power metal, it is hard to argue with Crystal Viper's repertoire. This Polish band has been the model of consistency since emerging on the scene back in 2007 with a string of excellent releases. Some (Tales of Fire and Ice, Legends) have been better than others (Possession, Queen of the Witches) but they've set the bar so high for themselves that shouldn't come as a surprise and all have their strong points. The Cult is their eighth release and first for Listenable Records after releasing the last several via AFM Records and falls just short of some of their best albums in terms of songwriting. Sure, it is chock full of pulse-pounding power metal, mixing faster numbers with mid-tempo anthems in roughly equal measure and always showcasing the distinctive and fantastic vocals of front woman Marta Gabriel. Where The Cult lags is in the songwriting which isn't as memorable as past efforts. Despite listening many times, nothing is sticking, so I enjoy cuts like "The Cult" and "Lost in the Dark" but I find it hard to recall what makes them distinct from one another once the album ends. I don't want that to be a negative, just a comment on how difficult it is for Crystal Viper to top themselves at this stage of their career. At the end of the day, The Cult is a very enjoyable power metal album from a band that has made a habit of releasing them, so if you like double-kick drums, huge riffs and soaring vocals, you can grab this one without hesitation. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the cover songs, which is something of a tradition for Crystal Viper going back to 2008. This time, we get an absolutely killer version of King Diamond's "Welcome Home" (CD bonus track) as well as Satan's "Trial by Fire" (vinyl bonus track). Crystal Viper's covers almost never fail to kick ass while honoring the original artists, so figure out a way to get your hands on both, whichever version of The Cult you choose.

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