8 albums into their career and Crystal Ball just seem to be picking up momentum. A lengthy career that has seen them become one of the heavy hitters in the melodic metal game in Europe and seen them share stages with a literal who’s who of hard rock and metal bands. Guitarist and founder Scott Leach, along with drummer Marcel Sardella keeps the ship sailing straight and forging forward. After the mighty release Dawnbreaker in 2013 which saw the band soaring to new heights, they are at it again with a very ambitious album called LifeRider. Leading off with a very strong track such as Eye To Eye (featuring the very talented Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast), the band shows that they are still on top of their game. Vocalist Steven Mageney has done a great job with the vocals here, combining a nice mixture of power and emotion in his singing, with a very mid level anthemic power feel to his vocals. This Swiss band really has a strong German feel to their overall sound and style, thinking a bit Running Wild if on a bit more melodic timbre. Balls Of Steel sounds like something off of a NWOBHM stound yet in some ways Steven sounds a bit like UDO if he sang in a more low key manor. Either way it all works nicely for the band. The songs have a nice mixture of bite and melody which makes them standout and memorable. The album is a very solid 12 tracks (plus a few bonus tracks on the digipack). Either way you don’t need a Crystal Ball to see that these guys are the real deal!
Choice Tracks – Eye To Eye, Balls Of Steel, Gods Of Rock, Hold Your Flag, Antidote, Sign Of The Southern Cross