Welcome to unremarkable land. Where everyone wears the same clothes, says the same things, and nothing surprising ever happens to disrupt the monotony of total unsurprised. Did I mention that Crystal Viper
– Metal Nation
is everyone’s favourite album? Because it is exactly what it is, it’s just plain unremarkable and offers nothing new or refreshing to the waning heavy metal genre.
Maybe I’m being harsh by saying such words. Don’t you dare get me wrong, Metal Nation
is a fine record that the band must be rather proud of (And
with good reason to be proud), but when trying to find something unique and commendable about this band, I just can’t. It is just another heavy metal album for the collection which I’m sure won’t be played to a massive extent as a total classic. But that said, I do enjoy this release more so than most heavy metal releases. It has a power-metalish spice mixed with the heavy metal canvas, which I must say is rather nice and it works very well indeed, a similar sort of sound to the likes of Iron Maiden.
I was just hoping Crystal Viper
would do something to break the mould, such as not use the conventional album layout (1 intro, 1 quiet ballad, and the rest the same formula), I was just hoping they’d do something to set themselves apart from their rival artists, but they just didn’t, and they just made a generic heavy metal album. But by no means is this useless or not worth your time, there is some really nice moments in this album, such as nearly all the riffs for example are really well written and sound fantastic. The vocals could be better but the woman has a very powerful “Power Metal
” sort of voice, it could be compared to the almighty Elisa C. Martin (Known to be in bands such as Dark Moor
), but a little bit rougher, the vocals are rather nice in this album and I’m sure over time, she will only improve.
The album is a reasonable length of just over 40 minutes, and each song is a solid track in its own right, and there are some really good moments (The Anvil
, Bringer of the Light) but every song sounds so similar and there is rarely any unique twists to any of the songs to let them shine above the others. They’re very well written as far as heavy metal goes, but heavy metal only goes so far, people need to bring something new to the table to become a known band nowadays. If that is something you can’t do, then I’m afraid you won’t get far.
But in the end, what we’re left with is a set of 8 generic heavy metal songs and 2 generic calm songs which are typical of bands like this. Without a doubt though, if heavy metal is your thing, I honestly recommend you pick up a copy if you can get it, but for someone who appreciates unique twists, where Crystal Viper
doesn’t offer any, I won’t be playing this album very long.