CRYSTAL VIPER - At The Edge Of Time EP
October 3, 2018, 12 days ago
Stop-gap odds & sods five-tracker from Polish traditional metalists, fronted by the diminutive darling Marta Gabriel, on guitar/vocals. Actually, there's only a pair of new Crystal Viper songs (three, if you count the Polish language take on the title track), the other two being a reworking of an old tune and a heretofore unreleased Quartz cover. Shame most in North America have never seen the band live, as they are a dynamic force, as evident in the searing "At The Edge Of Time" opener. Up-tempo European metal, with plenty of guitar. The slower paced "When the Sun Goes Down" originally appeared on last year's Queen Of The Witches, a fist thruster, in the Doro tradition, should Ms. Pesch ever decide to hang up her leathers (highly doubtful!), Marta would be the fitting successor.
While sure to win some points at home, the alternate take on the title cut, in her native language, is impressive to Anglophiles for fitting a mouthful of words into the same song structure. virtually no breathing space. Bit of a shock, the piano only accompaniment to start the heartfelt "When Are You" ballad. Once again, a certain Germanic Metal Queen comes to mind, not because of the voice (Gabriel inhabiting a rougher edge), but stylistically. Continuing their tradition of covering classic bands (Accept, Agent Steel, Riot, Vader, Grim Reaper) the 3:28 shot of hard rock, aka "Tell Me Why" is over almost before it began. Assuming a lower price tag than a full album, might serve as an introduction to the scope of the Crystal Viper sound, for those that have yet to hear them.