Crystal Ball

The keywords rock music and Switzerland are usually associated with Krokus and Gotthard, maybe also Shakra or Eluveitie. But from Switzerland also come a variety of other high-class rock and metal bands like November 7, 69 Chambers or Wicked Plan. And now I get to know Crystal Ball. The band from Lucerne already exists since 1999. And with DÉJÀ-VOODOO they will release their ninth album in September.
After a short “pseudo-intro” Crystal Ball start powerful into the album with the title song “Deja Voodoo.” Also interesting is the wordplay “déjà-vu / Voodoo”, matching the voodoo doll on the album cover. In this song, you can hear all trademarks of the Swiss, banging guitar riffs, sometimes subtly backed by keyboards, driving drums, outstanding vocals and catchy refrains with choruses. Given a strong guitar solo. For this song, the band has also produced a video clip. In “Director’s Cut” the tempo is a little increased.
“Never A Guarantee” starts with lightweight Industrial sounds before even this title is the catchy rock song which tempts to headbanging. The song is very melodic and has airplay potential. In addition to the fat produced midtempo rockers also two ballads can be heard on the album. “Home Again” is a beautiful power ballad. Here shows singer Steven Mageney his vocal qualities. Later bangs “Dr. Hell No” right out of the speakers. The song is slightly faster than the other songs, especially the guitars dash forward at high speed. And with the second ballad “To Be With You Once More,” the album ends then quiet, almost contemplative.
With DÉJÀ-VOODOO Crystal Ball have published an album with beautiful classic rock music. The production is powerful, the sound convincing. However, the Swiss probably hedged their bets a little too much. The band makes indeed no outliers, neither down nor up. Each song itself is a catchy tune, but apart from the two-class ballads the songs are too predictable. No surprises, too little variety in the song structures. But that’s lamentation at a high level. A solid album, performed by outstanding musicians.

Official video of “Déjà-Voodoo”:

Steven Mageney – Vocals
Scott Leach – Guitars
Tony “T.C.” Castell – Guitars
Cris Stone – Bass
Marcel Sardella – Drums
Label: Massacre Records
Out: 02.09.2016
Duration: 46:57 / Digipak: 54:22
Track list:
•    Déjà-Voodoo
•    Director’s Cut
•    Suspended
•    Never A Guarantee
•    Reaching Out
•    Home Again
•    To Freedom And Progress
•    Time And Tide
•    Without A Net
•    Full Disclosure (*)
•    Fools’ Parade (*)
•    Dr. Hell No
•    To Be With You Once More
(*) Digipak Bonus

Release date: 09-02-2016
Reviewer: Rainer Kerber
Score: 7

Rainer Kerber

This author is no longer associated with Metal On Loud Magazine.

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