This spring the band Crimson Guardian contacted me to introduce me to their sound and music. I’m glad they did because I’m impressed! This American Power Metal band has a bit of a complicated history that is worth explaining. Founded back in 2005 recorded and EP called KINGDOM OF PAIN. Then in 2013 they released SANDS OF TIME which was essentially a reissue of the EP and a few new songs and showcasing some line-up changes. Now, three years later, the band has released what could be considered their official full-length debut, also called SANDS OF TIME. For the record I’m reviewing the newest CD, released in late 2016.
This trio from Oregon has released this CD on he uniquely monikered ‘Falling Dave Productions’ and despite having a few of the same songs from the previous releases, it has been redone and it sounds very good.
Crimson Guardian are straight up 80’s classic / traditional Metal. The style is certainly firmly rooted in the true, original sound of Maiden/Priest inspired Metal. The CD presentation is good, nice booklet, photos, lyrics a cool logo and band name, they have all the right moves to get into the game. Vocalist David is competent, at times he sounds like he is straining, but delivers a solid performance with a nice mid-range tone with a bit of grit to his vocals as well. The title tracks shows some nice progressions influences, an epic piece that runs almost nine minutes with a bit of acoustic guitar, some nice bass lines, and a few little audio effects…perhaps reminiscent of Powerslave or something along those lines, but very cool nonetheless.
I’d like to hear a bit more fire and energy in some of the songs. The tracks, ‘Into The Nightmare’ and ‘Traumatized’ stand out as the fastest and heaviest and the whole album could benefit from some nice double-kick drumming to bring up the tempo a bit. The songs are good but could benefit some more dynamic arrangements and maybe just a little kick in the ass from a professional producer who could draw out the best performances of the obviously talented band.
I like what I hear from Crimson Guardian, it is above average for sure, but I think they will have to up their game a little if they want to get onto a bigger national tour or sign to a label like Limb, Stormspell or Arkeyn Steel where these type bands survive and thrive. Solid, worth checking out for purists like me…SANDS OF TIME is a slow burn and the band is one to watch as they grow and hone their skills.
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