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Crystal Ball - Timewalker (CD)

Crystal Ball
by Michael Dalakos at 22 August 2005, 5:28 AM

Ok, this is one hard working band. They've been around for more than a decade (though they debuted in 1998), they have toured extensively supporting many big bands around Europe, and they have reached a decent status in countries like Japan for example. Still in my ears they sound really safe-oriented. It all comes down to this: will you buy something new that doesn't sound so new after all?
Crystal Ball started back in 1995 as a cover band. The first time they came into general attention was when their song Stand By Me in 1997 was aired by a national TV Show. Another song followed: Eye To Eye that was used as an opening theme for Swiss international boxer Stefan Angehrn in 1998. In the same year they released their debut album entitled In The Beginning. In 2000 came the follower Hard Impact, the band opened for acts such as Pretty Maids, Doro and U.D.O. among others. In 2002 the band released Virtual Empire and let's mention here that this album and all its pre-desessors were produced by none other than Tomy Newton. This collaboration ended in 2003 when HELLvetia came out produced this time by Stefan Kaufmann. Finally let's also mention that Timewalker is the final album with Tom Graber in the band's lineup 'cause of serious health problems.
Timewalker balances upon the line somwhere between Hard Rock and melodic Power Metal; a Pink Cream 69 / Axxis situation some of you might think and I can't really argue with that. The songs included in here are nicely crafted, with well taken care of technical details… indeed the band shows amazing concentration on details. So what's wrong with this picture? Hmm… I have to say that the only negative thing concerning this album is the absence of originality. Isn't it bizarre that even though I heard the album around ten times, the only thing I held in mind is that for some reason Mozart Symphony reminded me of Savatage's Gutter Ballet (don't ask me why, but it does!!!)? Ok, I also liked He Came To Change The World and Powerflight but the only reason to play these songs again would be at this year's birthday party.
Let's face it: are you searching for something new / fresh? Turn around and look the other way. Are you looking for the safe home fans of melodic Power Metal search for? Hey, this album is for you! Sorry, but I don't see any good reason to buy this album. Crystal Ball are good players, but their game is as predictable as an old Greek comedy film (yeah, they all end with a wedding).

2 Star Rating

Digital World
Tear Down The Wall
He Came To Change The World
Walk Through Time
Mozart Symphony
Fallen From Grace
The Eye Of The Storm
Talking To The walls
Mark Sweeney - Vocals
Scott Leach - Guitar
Tom Graber - Guitar & Keyboards
Danny Schallibaum - Bass
Marcel Sardella - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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