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Crimson River - Here's To The End... Again Award winner

Crimson River
Here's To The End... Again
by Kevin Lewis at 26 February 2023, 4:03 AM

CRIMSON RIVER is a four-piece Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Eindhoven, NL. Formed in 2011, they’ve firmly established themselves, releasing a number of singles and an EP before this, their debut full-length album. With 12 years’ experience creating anthemic rock songs, February 7, 2023, was a milestone day as they took the next step, issuing Here’s To The End…Again, seven tracks to get your blood pumping and head banging. The album opens with the title track, “Here’s To The End…Again.” The guitars immediately hook you with a mid-tempo intro followed by nice heavy riff. The drums count/roll into the main body of the track and the bass hammers that bottom-end tone, giving you a killer wall of sound. The vocals are clean, little bits of grit and distortion here and there to add to the power of the voice.

We Are the Knights” is the proto-typical Heavy/Power Metal song with a lyrical theme of knights riding into battle to defend Heavy Metal and conquer the land for all things Rock. The riff has a nice, galloping pattern to it, striking deep into the brain as you march into battle at the front of the stage. Then, “Armada” comes in a bit slower in the riff, but equally as heavy in the rhythm section. This track has a nautical theme, but still depicts war. The lead guitar work on this track is really nice, running throughout the song and adding a layer of technicality. “Requiem” seems to question whether life is worth living when a possible paradise awaits on the other side of it. Musically, it’s a slow burner that builds up to a mid-tempo rocker. The rhythm guitar, bass, and drums are incredibly solid on this track. You hear the sense of futility and pain the lyrics speak to. This is followed by “Katyusha,” an instrumental that has a melodic intro followed by a heavy, technical body with a quick fade.

Back to heavier tones, “Native” is a guitar driven piece with plenty of attitude and more war-torn anger. “The Wild” continues the theme of living through hard times. Lyrically, this album is less about a specific war or battle, more about how life is a fight to the death. The conquests in these songs appear to be metaphoric. That is probably the most impressive part of this work. Ultimately, it revolves around “Requiem,” but you don’t really know that until you get through the album a few times and check the lyrics as well.

CRIMSON RIVER did something pretty impressive here. They created a story with the ending in the middle. Whether that is their intention or not, that’s what I got out of this. Even when you realize the end is paradise (“Requiem”), you fight until the end because life is ultimately worth living. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I’m okay with that, because it makes me feel better about keeping at it, regardless of how bleak it sometimes looks.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Here’s To The End… Again
2. We Are The Knights
3. Armada
4. Requiem
5. Katyusha
6. Native
7. The Wild
Danny Keijsers – Vocals/Guitar
Kevin Megens – Bass/Backing Vocals
Tom Koene – Drums
Kris van Rens – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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