Crystal Viper may not be new to the heavy metal scene as they have played multiple European festivals and extensive touring but they are a welcome addition. Fans of heavy metal fashion will recognize that Marta Gabriel is also involved with heavy metal through her popular clothing line, Thunderball Clothing. The band has created an engaging album that also features vocalists from other bands such as Jag Panzer and Desaster.
Possession (AFM Records) begins with a very dramatic and operatic opening, ‘Zeta Reticuli’. While it is only 55 seconds long, it prepares the listener for a diverse and fun musical journey. It instantly leads into the crushing riff of ‘Voices in My Head’. The track sounds much like an Iron Maiden one and Gabriel sings it like a female version of Bruce Dickinson. It is a trend that holds throughout the album.
‘Fight Evil With Evil’ is the track which features Harry Conklin known for his work with Jag Panzer among other bands. His presence only makes the song better and assists Gabriel and the band in the story they are trying to tell rather than overshadowing them. This is a lot easier in theory than in practice and indicates that Crystal Viper are capable of holding their own in the world of heavy metal.
‘Why Can’t You Listen’ is where the theme of the album seems to come through the clearest. Much like the album suggests, the album is based around a concept that there is a young girl going on journey filled with struggles against evil. I won’t give too much away, but it is less cheesy than it sounds. It is at this part that the main character finds her voice.
‘Prophet of the End’ is a great closer where guitarist Andy Wave shows that he can do more than just shred. Up until this point, his riffs were slowly getting more repetitive. Thankfully he has a few tricks up his sleeve that make for an ending that neatly ties the story and leaves the album on a similarly epic note that it started on.