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Review: Sinister Realm - The Crystal Eye
Sinister Realm
The Crystal Eye

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 45:23
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 13, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Crystal Eye

Rated 4.29/5 (85.83%) (24 Votes)

Now this is more fucking like it. I was one of those heretics who thought this band's debut self-titled was just too weak to be great, with uneven songwriting and a thin guitar sound, but this is the album I hoped they would turn around and make. The Crystal Eye is this band fulfilling their promise in spades.

Sinister Realm play a variety of Epic Heavy Metal with a dash of Doom that is not a million miles removed from bands like Argus or Battleroar. Their songwriting and sound are defiantly old-school, and this time it has quality to back up the stylistic dedication. Of all the songs on the debut, only "Demon Seed" was an unmitigated killer, but this album is packed to bursting with memorable riffs and singable vocal hooks. Opener "Winds of Vengeance" is an uptempo number that serves notice that this band will not be chaining themselves to their old, Sabbath-apeing ways, but are forging ahead with their own sound. After that we get the crushing "Tormentor", the kickass riffs of "With Swords Held High", the awesome title track and the insanely catchy "Signal the Earth". "The Shroud of Misery" is maybe a bit dull, but it's redeemed by a real standout vocal performance from Alex Kristof. "Battle for the Sinister Realm" is a heavy instrumental that isn't bad, but does not really seem to serve a purpose of any kind. Then the eight-minute epic of "The Tower Is Burning" flattens everything in sight.

I have heard more artful albums this year, to be sure, but few that I have just flat-out enjoyed like this one. For true Heavy Metal fans, The Crystal Eye is a pure pleasure, not to be skipped under any circumstances.

Other related information on the site
Review: Sinister Realm (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Sinister Realm (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: World of Evil (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: World of Evil (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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