(8/10) Swiss melodic metal powerhouse Crystal Ball is like a solid working engine that gets your appreciation without giving it too much attention. But in case it wouldn't be there anymore you would miss it quite a lot, because you enjoyed the benefits. Fans actually went through such a period when the band had a hiatus between 2007 and 2013, coming back fully energized with "Dawnbreaker".
Benefits of Crystal Ball releases is the well-done combination of approachable melodies that go hand in hand with heavy guitar riffs. Borders between powerful metal and catchy hardrock actually dislimn. In case you're looking for examples you can easily listen to the starting threesome of this longplayer.
The title track, the fast and demanding "Director's Cut" and the more mainstream "Suspended" - all good melodic metal songs that are a must for fans of bands like Pretty Maids. And in the end it's not only the guitars and the melodies that are spot-on, also Steven Mageney's vocals fit perfect to Crystal Ball's sound. He can handle harsher vocal with a husky expression as well as softer moments like on "Home Again", one of the two ballads on "Deja-Voodoo".
Other songs I appreciated on this record are the faster "Dr. Hell No" and the galloping "To Freedom and Progress" that comes with a slightly progressive expression.
There are songs on the album, like "Reaching Out" and "Fool's Parade", which are a bit weaker than what the rest of the album contains, but these songs don't carry weight since they don't shrink the positive expression of this release.
"Deja-Voodoo" is hopefully an album that gives Crystal Ball the attention the guys deserve since the songs are excellent ones, powering the listeners. This album should reach a wider group of people than fans only. Check it out.
- Director's Cut
- Never a Guarantee
- Reaching Out
- Home Again
- To Freedom and Progress
- Time and Tide
- Without a Net
- Full Disclosure
- Fool's Parade
- Dr. Hell No
- To Be With You Once More
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release Date EU: September 2nd, 2016