As a person that critically listens to music on a regular basis, I get to hear a lot of bands that simply exist rather than play anything. And for the most part, band’s that stay within the confines of their sound and don’t push themselves become stale quickly. Unless they are the named CRESCENT SHIELD, then they take old school influences and add a breath of new life and play it with a heart that is, in essence, true.
That being said, I have a hard time giving the band higher then an 8 as they aren’t redefining anything and honestly I’ve heard a lot of bands that do similar things. But it’s really hard not to get into their IRON MAIDEN influenced straight up Metal approach to writing Power Metal. They do just hit the nail on the head when it comes to what fans of this kind genre are going to expect.
CRESCENT SHIELD might hold some names fans might know (members have played in other bands the likes of SEVEN WITCHES or the short lived DESTINY’S END) so that gives one a sense of what to expect going into their sophomore effort, “The Stars Of Never Seen”. It starts off with a slow, melodic, and very epic “Under Cover Of Shadows”, but it quickly kicks into gear for the majority of the album by using a heavy foundation of galloping rhythms (now I’m sure you can guess that IRON MAIDEN sound) and lots of Power Metal melodies to accompany the music.
There wasn’t any performances that blew me off my feet on “The Stars Of Never Seen”, as the band seems to play as a cohesive whole for the majority of the album, but if I had to give significant props it would be to vocalist Michael Grant. His very epic and drawn out approach to the music gives it almost a hint of Progressive sound and he even is album to accommodate some of the heavier songs with a lower almost growling sections that took me by (a nice) surprise.
CRESCENT SHIELD delivers a very solid second album. It’s nothing new to the world of Metal (or even the genre for that much) but they do nail the performances and writing with their own brand of energy that keeps the album from falling on its face to mediocrity. If you are a fan of epic Heavy Metal then look into this one.
Songs to check out: “Lifespan”, “Temple Of The Empty”, “My Anger”.
(Online May 15, 2009)