Released: 2010, Infernö Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Traditional Heavy Metal has always been around us. It has never died out, or ceased to exist, or been somehow out of fashion. Maybe we all should thank such bands as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, etc. for their existence without whom the world of heavier music would not be the same.
Enough about multiple speculations for the above-mentioned thought for now though. Crushing Blow hails from France, and this female fronted act has released a couple of full-length studio albums so far, off which their newest baby, CEASE FIRE, was just almost recently on Infernö Records out of France. The label´s info kit that followed along with their 2nd album, compares Crushing Blow musically to several known Metal acts – from Maiden to Priest to Warlock/Doro to Helloween, and so on. Yes, I subscribe the fact that there lies some truth out there what comes to the music itself on this French pendat´s 2nd release. Obviously comparisons to Warlock (or Doro) come from the fact Crushing Blow´s female vocalist Valéne de Santis does have some nuances in her voice that could clearly be linked to Doro Pesch´s direction. She indeed is talented as a vocalist, using all colors of her voice the best she can – and there´s no question about that whether her voice would – or would not fit to the band´s pretty nicely flowing Heavy Metal. It does.
Also, some influences coming from Maiden´s, Priest´s and Helloween´s directions can surely be heard somewhat easily as well. What would any solid sounding Heavy Metal band be without at least some influences from one of those most known Metal icons anyway? When a song called “Dreams” starts ripping through the air, I can clearly hear some of you mentioning bands like Judas Priest, or Gamma Ray because of the sharp and driving guitar riffs pushing toward the surface right from the beginning in this particular song in question. The guitar duo Guillaume-Benjamin let their shredding machines talk in a relatively effective and skillful way, creating a strong backbone for the band´s attempt to stand out with the songs on the record – while being supported securely enough by bassist Gérald and drummer Laurent.
Overall, CEASE FIRE is a decently done album from Crushing Blow that leans toward the traditional elements of Heavy Metal, having bits of modernized ingredients thrown in for a good measure. Not bad – not bad at all, and I would personally suggest especially the fans of Warlock and Doro to check this French Heavy Metal bunch out.