Polish heavy metallers Crystal Viper don’t let the grass grow under their feet. Having released the acclaimed Queen of the Witches in 2017 (read the Decibel Geek review here) the band returned in June with the At The Edge Of Time EP.
Is it a case of keeping Crystal Viper fresh in the mind? Or the simple fact that they just love recording and performing? Indeed, does it matter? I think not.
Crystal Viper, lead by vocalist/composer Marta Gabriel have been through the wringer a bit in terms of an enforced 4-year hiatus and a few line-up changes but now they have a settled line-up and are firing on all cylinders, of which At The Edge Of Time is a prime example.
Out via AFM Records, the EP consists of 5 tracks drenched in Crystal Viper trademarks. Gabriel’s vocals are as strong as ever and is well supported by fellow combatants Andy Wave and Eric Juris on guitar, Blazej Grygiel on bass and Tomek “Golem” Danczak on drums.
CRYSTAL VIPER – At The Edge Of Time (EP Review)
The title track opens proceedings in quite a thrashing fashion. Gabriel’s vocals are very much to the fore supported by some meaty blows from Danczak. Once the song is up running the guitaring does take somewhat of a back seat in creating a fuller sound. But it more than makes up for it in the solo divided between, I assume, Wave and Juris.
Next up comes the much more fulfilling “When The Sun Goes Down”, a reworking of the track previously seen on Queen Of Witches. This version, dubbed the Giallo Version, is more toned down but loses none of its force and meaning. The guitaring is more stated than on “At The Edge Of Time” and contains a cracking solo.
Following on we have “Zwiastun Burzy” which turns out to be the title track sung in Polish. The song is exactly the same in every way apart from the language. Why? Well, we’ll have to ask Marta….
The pace is taken down a notch or three on “When Are You” and Gabriel proves she can do the biz on slower more emotional tracks. Pure as the driven snow, her vocals are a real treat on this song.
Bringing on the finale is a cover of the Quartz track “Tell Me Why”. Quartz were a band who’s light shone brightly but briefly during the time of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. It’s amazing how this movement still influences bands heavily today. Thankfully Crystal Viper remains faithful to the original, in pace and feel. A great way to end what I hope is merely a taster of things to come.
If you’re in Europe the band is touring extensively until mid-December. Check them out, you won’t regret it.