Review: Crystal Viper - The Curse Of Crystal Viper [2007]

After the Apollo Ra, another review appears from the past. 

This was the first review i ever made for a zine called "Pits Of Hell", but it was never released. So lets go 5 years back and enjoy Crystal Viper, brought to you by the vaults of Starchild! :p

"Well, this is my first review for the P.O.H. webzine. When I asked George on what albums should I make reviews he told me “whatever you like”. The choosing was difficult, because of the too much worth-hearing releases of the last months. So I choose the album “The Curse of Crystal Viper”, the first full album of the Polish band Crystal Viper.

   First of all let’s make an overview on the band’s history. Crystal Viper was formed on 2003 from the band’s vocalist Marta Gabriel (a.k.a. Leather Wych). The same year they released their first demo with the name “Rehearsal Tape” which had five tracks, four band’s songs and a cover on Saxon’s “Denim and Leather”. The following years the band released three more demos (Live Demo, Strike One, The Soundhouse Tape) and took part on Tribute albums for W.A.S.P. (with the song Wild Child), Cirith Ungol (song Chaos Rising), Manilla Road (song Flaming Metal System) and Angel Witch (song Atlantis). 
Finally, on February 25th of this year, they released this first full-length album.

   The album has ten tracks, nine songs and an intro. Classic-Pure-Traditional Heavy Metal with Power highlights and legendary vocals from the exploding female figure Leather Wych. Now let’s take a look on the songs:
  Album starts with an intro and the song “Night Prowler” which moves on classic heavy metal rhythms and an easy-catching refrain.
   It continues with “Shadows on the Horizon” which walks on a fast bass line.
   After that, Andy’s guitar explodes with an easy-to-spot Manilla Road influence, in an earthshaking intro of the song “City Of The Damned”.
   Then follows the Epic “The Last Axeman”, where, from the first tune of the guitar, you go some centuries back, where steel ruled the lives! [Dedicated to Sir Kimball from OMEN]
   In an excellent melody continues the “Island of the Silver Skull”, where IronMaiden-School “shouts” that is also here.
   Sharp riffs and Power rhythms on drums make their appearance on the song “I am Leather Witch”, which is a song from their last demo.
   A more emotional melody, and a bit slowly tempo, follows on “Demons’ Dagger”.
   Pre-last song is the speedy “The Fury (Undead)” with a drum solo in the beginning and a folk melody between the choruses, which make you see the album from a different angle.
   And, for closure, they selected one of the heaviest songs that I ever heard. Magical and mysterious prelude, strictly sharp riffs, melody for a massive headbanging, guitar solos right from the ‘80s decade. All that, plus the wonderful Marta’s voice, equals = “Sleeping Swords”! A Metal Hymn!

   For the end, if you are a fan of the classic heavy metal music, if you like legendary and epic stories, if you are interested in female-fronted metal bands, or if the ‘80s was the decade you love, then run and buy this album!
Released on CD on Karthago Records and on purple vinyl with gatefold sleeve by High Roller Records."


Michalis “Starchild” Benakis
September 2007