CRIMSON REIGN - THE CALLING (Slavedriver Records)
(Review by Stefan)
As the story repeats itself, I’m always on the prowl to get in touch with US Metal bands to spread their word via our homepage Metal To Infinity. And so I came in contact with Crimson Reign as well. They’re from Phoenix Arizona, formed by lead shred guitarist/bassist and background singer named Titus Medina and being a US Metal maniac myself since decades, I’m very proud to present their debut album “The Calling” charged with 10 songs. This product saw the crack of dawn early 2013, other players which have cooperated to bring the album to reality are James Eaden (drums) and lead vocalist Donovan Bossworth. Sad but true fact is that drummer James passed away before the CD was released. That’s why Crimson Reign’s debut album is completely dedicated to their fallen brother.
This debut album of Crimson Reign has been produced by Titus Medina himself, in terms of the mastering duties I have to mention legendary Bob Ludwig. This guy worked with so many bands and labels, it’s almost unbelievable… to name but a very small amount, he lent his expertise to greats like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Megadeth, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Who… He’s definitely one of the best mastering engineers who ever walked around on this planet ! The mixings were in hands of Ralph Patlan (Megadeth catalog re-mix 2004, UFO, MSG) and Brian ‘Head’ Welch (ex Korn Member). I can assure you that the sound of Crimson Reign’s debut album can be defined as high quality stuff.
Crimson Reign plays a mixture of Classic US Heavy/Power Metal and dark minded Progressive Metal with a contemporary character. The vocals are good, real good to me because of a fairly distinct sound. His abilities are far reaching and still know how to keep me impressed each song on the album, he’s a bringer of the so-called surprise effect. Fact is that Donovan Bossworth meanwhile left the Crimson Reign camp, Tony Giedraitist has been announced as new frontman. Due to the fact that I have not heard the new singer so far I do not know for sure if this will end up good whether or not. The singer (Donovan Bossworth) I could hear on Crimson Reign’s debut CD “The Calling” has left a good impression on me.
Crimson Reign knows how to surprise immediately with the first song ‘The Calling’. Pleasant variation in the vocal lines, the fluent up tempo rhythms and well developed guitar works let me enjoy and I could hardly wait to hear the rest of the songs. More great stuff is on its way with ‘Man Within’, quiet moments in perfect balance with rather exciting, more intense passages… the dark powers and melodic parts are constantly present and I’m feeling good so far. As the CD progresses I get the feeling that the band becomes better and better, ‘Signs Of The Times’ coming out of my speakers and I couldn’t resist the urge to boost up the volume. Guitar master Titus Medina in a glorious role as he takes command of all the great and technical motions.
The band shows his sense of inner softness with the beautiful and tenderly carried ‘Tests Of Faith’. Really nice inner feelings overpower my heart and soul while checking out fantastic songs ‘Betrayal’ and ‘Zaricco’. Especially with last mentioned track, Crimson Reign reach a definite highlight. Last three songs are still in the queue as a ‘hopefully’’ pleasant surprise to my ears, afterwards I can say with great dedication that ‘Mr. Incarcerated’, ‘Child Abuse’ and ‘Clairvoyant’ deserve my sincere approval and appreciation. Crimson Reign represent obscure US Heavy/Power Metal in the vein of early Sanctuary/Savatage, St. Madness, Crillson, Barren Cross, Fallen Sanctuary, Mindwarp Chamber, Order Of Nine, Spirit Web.
Never heard of Crimson Reign before, still you’re on the hunt for obscure US Metal music… these guys’ debut album ‘The Calling’ will give you a pleasant time. Can’t live without my daily dose of US Metal, that’s why I like them so much ! Order this very recommended effort via: https://www.facebook.com/CrimsonReignMetal / http://crimsonreign.net/
My Points: 86 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish