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On disc: Crystallion

Hundred Days - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars

Hundred Days

Hundred Days
(Dockyard 2 - 2009)

With the album Hundred Days the Bavarian's present their 3rd album and this time a concept album about Napoleon! A kind of history lesson about Napoleon's return from Elba and his final deportation to St. Helena where he found exile after the disastrous Waterloo battle. Musically the quintet offers power metal like you expect from bands like Freedom Call, Gamma Ray and similar bands. And so the songs sound quite familiar, they lack something unique... Personally I think that the keyboard is too prominent... And it can't add something special. At Sole Survivors In Ligny they have a poppy sound due to the early 80's keyboards. Again it seems that they found inspiration while listening to their favorite bands - and one of them seems to be Blind Guardian. Balladesque Nations Falling begins, but then heavy guitar riffs indicate the musical change in the song... Back to power metal, it seems that they wanted to make this one give an aggressive edge - but failed. The keyboard is taking off the edges. The vocals are a bit repetitive... And the guitar solo was about average... Unfortunately the song is more then 6 minutes long. Perhaps a shortened version would have been more convincing... And the longer I'm listening to Crystallion the more I'm bored by Thomas Strübler's vocals. Technically there isn't much to criticize, but the lack of originality. At We Stand Align the backings are quite powerful... But the keyboard is annoying me again as it dominates everything. And during the chorus the lead vocals are drowning. Symphonic opening of the title track, but then back onto the chosen path... The piano ballad The Bravest Of The Brave is just boring. The vocals aren't expressive enough to make you shiver. Actually that's the main problem of the album, it can't touch you!
The concept story is interesting and I would like to hear more stuff like that, but musically they can't convince me. These days there are so many CDs coming out every month, so you need to differ... You need to have your own identity. To play well isn't enough these days, you have to stick out somehow. You have to take the risk to try something new... To add something not every other band does have... Crystallion should consider to change their sound a bit, they have to find their own identity!

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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