The south of France more and more turns into a great source for Metal, after just a short time ago KRAGENS from Nice had reached my ear, now CRUSHING BLOW from Marseille are trying their luck. Just from the name one would rather expect Death or Thrash Metal, but this quintet, led by singer Audrey Bucci, plays traditional Heavy Metal of the Eighties, offering us their debut album with “Far Away”, via Brennus Music.
After the intro “Prelude“ the title track shows us, what the Frenchies are going for: An a bit rougher production, powerful, female vocals and very traditional song writing, where originality does not really have any room. The fat double bass of this song (that sound a bit odd) really push the track forward and generate a lot of power, while then tuning it down a bit. What also strikes are the expressive and powerful vocals of Audrey, which set a distinct statement in the sound of this French band, here we get no opera, but just METAL!
The lyrics also are English, which is nothing normal with French bands, and also help the band to open up a wider fan base. “Idols” also adds a certain symphonic touch towards the end, after the song itself had been propelled forward by double-bass again. Altogether CRUSHING BLOW show themselves to be very nicely variable and dynamic, without breaking out of the traditional sound, thanks to the good guitar work, the vocals and the tight rhythm section.
The production is not bad, while the cover artwork does not exactly qualify as “appealing” to these spoilt eyes, yet it does not detract from the overall quality of “Far Away”. The album has not turned out to be impressive, yet fans of the Heavy Metal/Melodic Metal of the Eighties with a powerful female voice should check out CRUSHING BLOW, because the French band definitely delivers quality material. (Online October 13, 2004)