Released: 2010, 7 Hard
After Minuetum, Crystal Tears is the second band from Greece that I’m reviewing this month. The band formed way back in 1997, but have only one other release to their credit, 2006’s forgotten CHOIRS OF IMMORTAL. However, unlike their flower-power metal countrymen, Crystal Tears have a much more direct attack with their music. Firmly in the power metal camp, these Greeks whip up a guitar-heavy, keyboard-free attack that’s lead by one of power metal’s most enduring voices: Ian Parry (Vengeance, Elegy, his own Consortium Project).
The fiery “Inner Spirit” gets GENERATION X going in fine power metal fashion, with a strong central riff and a powerful vocal from Parry. It’s pretty standard power metal, but it is on the grittier side of things – more Tad Morose than Stratovarius. After this promising opener, things kind of take a dive – from “Heroes” to “In the Beginning” nothing really stands out. There are no actively bad songs, but they all kinda blur together and come across a bit dull.
Fortunately, things pick up with the energetic “Rock Until We Fall”. As you can guess from the song’s title, there’s nothing to see here lyrically, but the song is so catchy and Parry’s vocal is so genuine that you can’t help but be swept up by it. The final three songs are all of equal quality, with a special mention going to the vicious “The X Generation” which out-heavies the rest of the album but a large margin.
Crystal Tears is one of the safest choices a power metal fan can make; they’ve got a legend on the mic, and some of the catchiest riffs you’re likely to hear this year. They’re not re-writing the book of metal, but they are contributing some worthwhile chapters. GENERATION X is definitely worth your time.