Released: 2013, AFM Records
Crystal Viper are pretty consistent despite a bit of an odd discography. Every couple years for the last decade they have put out a new studio album and they are early out of the gate in 2014 with POSSESSION. Not too much has changed, the polish quartet have added a new bassist since the last album but are still on the AFM label.
POSSESSION has a very different looking cover than the last four, but it is visually very appealing. The artwork matches the concept which is one of possession, naturally. The atmospheric, exorcism story is a simple one about demonic/alien possession, which is a decent change from the traditional Metal topics the band usually songs about.
Musically this is an evolution in the bands sound, a little faster, a little heavier and perhaps just a little less anthemic. Marta still sounds great her voice is still growing and evolving. She tackles the role of the main character ‘Julia’ with enthusiasm and energy. Overall the band has refined their classic/true/Power Metal sound by adding just a bit more sophistication. The songs are well arranged and composed with a variety of moods and tempos to match the storyline.
POSSESSION runs about 41 minutes and some versions have a bonus track added on. Fans will know this band is all about cover tunes, they have recorded many of them, and this time ‘Thundersteel’ by Riot. It is an ambitious choice to cover one of the most iconic songs in the history of Metal but they do a pretty good job. It’s about time they collected all those loose tracks and issued a nice album of cover tunes, they have about nine covers by my count, so throw on a few new ones and you would have an excellent release.
All the welcomes changes make POSSESSION a very enjoyable record. They are still Metal to the core but those subtle changes make this one of the stronger albums in their catalogue.