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Boguslaw Balcerak's Crylord - Gates Of Valhalla

Boguslaw Balcerak's Crylord
Gates Of Valhalla
by Matt Coe at 13 May 2014, 9:58 PM

The project type album is now within grasp given the tight nature of studio budgets and the wide talent pool available through the internet. Polish guitarist Boguslaw Balcerak started this Power Metal outfit BOGUSLAW BALCERAK’S CRYLORD 5 years ago in 2009, releasing the first album “Blood of the Prophets” in 2011 to a decent response in terms of written reviews. The follow up “Gates of Valhalla” contains many of the same guest vocals that appeared on the previous effort, along with MASTERPLAN/ AT VANCE vocalist Rick Altzi and TEMPLE OF SIN singer Ricky Wychowaniec offering two more melodic perspectives.

Ultimately the material is in the neo-classical power metal mold, certainly favoring those who love SYMPHONY X and especially anything related to YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. This means high octane screams, thunderous chops, and of course shredding that can transpose the best of Bach, Beethoven, and Paganini in one. Göran handles the vocals through charm and grace on the ballad “Lost Again” – a 7:35 epic that should have many hearts racing as Fererico and Boguslaw trade off beautiful, emotional-oriented keyboard/ guitar breaks.

Carsten handles a lot of the mid-tempo to slightly faster arrangements, coming out the gate swinging on the cruising opener “Passage to the Other Side” and reaching killer high sustaining notes for that chorus, while also captivating in that darker, mystical mode for another favorite “Deadnight Serenade”. For a change of pace it is refreshing to hear former YNGWIE singer Marc Boals handle a more straightforward, melodic metal piece like “We Came to Rock” – as I think this song is just addictive in a good time way, the riff and groove melding as one in that late 80’s / early 90’s manner while Boguslaw again delivers through smoldering finger tricks and licks the passion and fury of this style.

These 10 songs are not mere exercises in show-off Power Metal – Boguslaw and his compatriots perform in a solid songwriting format where harmonies, melodies, hooks, and a slight ‘groove/tempo’ factor matter – but you will get the chance to hear fantastic drumming, bass work, and keyboard displays. The Rick Altzi sung “Judgment Day” and “Pompeii” are two numbers to really key on musically, both impressive in terms of pacing, technique, and comfortable transitions and instrumental expertise that show these players know their neo-classical power metal through and through.

A dramatic improvement to my ears, “Gates of Valhalla” should ensure neo-classical oriented Power Metal mavens another record to champion in 2014.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Passage to the Other Side
2. Gates of Valhalla
3. We Came to Rock
4. Mirrored Eyes
5. Judgment Day
6. Lost Again
7. Deadnight Serenade
8. House of Pain
9. Pompeii
10. War Memorial
Lineup:
Boguslaw Balcerak – Guitar
Kamil Wyzinski – Bass
Marcin Kwasny – Drums
Fererico Cordera – Keyboards
Carsten Schulz – Vocals (tracks 1, 7 & 10)
Rick Altzi – Vocals (tracks 2 & 5)
Mark Boals – Vocals (tracks 3 & 9)
Ricky Wychowaniec – Vocals (tracks 4 & 8)
Göran Edman – Vocals (track 6)
Record Label: Power Prog
     


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