CRYSTAL VIPER

Power Metal / Heavy Metal • Poland
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Crystal Viper is a power metal band from Poland originally formed by frontwoman Marta Gabriel in 2003. The band name came from her husband, music producer Bart Gabriel and was used by Marta as early as 2001 before Crystal Viper as a band started for real. In the early days of the band Marta Gabriel used the pseudonym Leather Wych. The group currently also consists of Andy Wave (real name Lukasz Halczuch) on guitars, Michał Badocha on bass and Golem (real name Tomasz Danczak) on drums. Previous bassists were Tom Woryna and Tomasz Targosz while Vicky Vick held the position of second guitarist between 2007 - 2008 after which point Marta Gabriel took over in addition to being the vocalist of the group.

The musical style of Crystal Viper is a guitar driven brand of power metal with varying amounts of traditional heavy metal mixed in from album to album.
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Tales Of Fire And IceTales Of Fire And Ice
Afm Records 2019
$12.42
$14.02 (used)
Queen Of The WitchesQueen Of The Witches
Afm Records 2017
$13.05
$7.95 (used)
Defenders Of The Magic CircleDefenders Of The Magic Circle
Afm Records 2010
$12.97
$25.74 (used)
Tales Of Fire And Ice (clear Blue Vinyl)Tales Of Fire And Ice (clear Blue Vinyl)
Afm Records 2019
$22.76
$30.44 (used)
PossessionsPossessions
Afm Records 2014
$11.52
$9.96 (used)
Crimen ExceptaCrimen Excepta
Special Edition
Afm Records 2012
$9.39
$11.56 (used)
LegendsLegends
Afm Records 2011
$10.25
$9.50 (used)
Metal NationMetal Nation
Afm Records 2012
$8.74
$15.00 (used)
Curse Of The Crystal ViperCurse Of The Crystal Viper
Afm Records 2012
$12.55
$7.44 (used)
At The Edge Of TimeAt The Edge Of Time
Afm Records 2018
$19.49
$21.66 (used)
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CRYSTAL VIPER Discography

CRYSTAL VIPER albums / top albums

CRYSTAL VIPER The Curse of Crystal Viper album cover 3.90 | 10 ratings
The Curse of Crystal Viper
Power Metal 2007
CRYSTAL VIPER Metal Nation album cover 3.94 | 8 ratings
Metal Nation
Power Metal 2009
CRYSTAL VIPER Legends album cover 3.69 | 8 ratings
Legends
Power Metal 2010
CRYSTAL VIPER Crimen Excepta album cover 4.25 | 10 ratings
Crimen Excepta
Power Metal 2012
CRYSTAL VIPER Possession album cover 3.85 | 6 ratings
Possession
Power Metal 2013
CRYSTAL VIPER Queen of the Witches album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
Queen of the Witches
Heavy Metal 2017

CRYSTAL VIPER EPs & splits

CRYSTAL VIPER live albums

CRYSTAL VIPER Defenders Of The Magic Circle: Live In Germany album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Defenders Of The Magic Circle: Live In Germany
Power Metal 2010

CRYSTAL VIPER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CRYSTAL VIPER re-issues & compilations

CRYSTAL VIPER The Last Axeman album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Axeman
Power Metal 2008
CRYSTAL VIPER Sleeping Swords album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sleeping Swords
Power Metal 2009

CRYSTAL VIPER singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wolf and the Witch
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stronghold
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Witch's Mark
Power Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 2 ratings
Fight Evil with Evil
Power Metal 2013

CRYSTAL VIPER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

CRYSTAL VIPER Reviews

CRYSTAL VIPER Possession

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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Possession (2013) is the fifth full-length album by Polish heavy/power metal act Crystal Viper. This is their first release with new bassist Michał Badocha (At the Lake). Like with prior album Crimen Excepta (2012) Possession features a couple of guest vocalists, this time being Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan's Host) and Sataniac (Desaster). As a bonus track the CD version of the album features a cover of Riot's Thundersteel, while the LP version has a new version of Crystal Viper's own Night Prowler, the original of which may be found on their debut album The Curse of Crystal Viper (2007).

Despite Crystal Viper's common branding as a heavy metal act, most of their work that I've heard has been more closely related to power metal, albeit a power metal that had a rougher edge than the norm for the European variety. This was especially true of their last album Crimen Excepta. Possession blends more heavy metal elements into the sound than were present on that album, creating something that has more balance between the two styles. It's not an album that can be expected to fit into any cliché niches though. Not only does it have more aggression than the norm for this type of act, but Crystal Viper also prove quite effective in producing music that fits with the album's concept, creating theatrical melodies and undertones alongside the riffs for when effect is needed. It's yet more proof to my ears that Crystal Viper are one of the most underrated acts going right now, especially within the blossoming female voiced heavy/power metal scene that has seen acts such as the US's Huntress rise to prominence.

This said it does seem to me that contrary to my prior experience with Crimen Excepta, Possession is more of an album that grows on you. I must say that I'm still a bit disappointed in the first proper song on the album (following the short intro piece Zeta Reticuli), Voices in My Head. It's odd, but I do not like Marta Gabriel's vocals on this track, whereas I've always liked her otherwise, including on the rest of Possession. It's a song that has grown on me after a few listens to the album but things really picks up with Julia is Possessed, which in contrast to Voices in My Head is an absolute beast of a track, and the one to feature Sataniac providing growled vocals. Although he is pretty much regulated to a backing role behind Marta, the result is very good. The jewel of the album would have to be the lead single though, called Fight Evil With Evil and featuring Harry Conklin. Songs like this show Crystal Viper at their most catchy, and are pretty infectious, encouraging many replays. Unfortunately this time around the quality level doesn't stay at these sort of heights, but overall Possession is a solid release from Crystal Viper and is easily worth a 4 star range rating.

82/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/crystal-viper-possession-t3272.html)

CRYSTAL VIPER Crimen Excepta

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Crimen Excepta is the fourth full-length album from Polish female fronted heavy/power metal band Crystal Viper. Crimen Excepta is one of a few albums I’ve taken note of from early 2012 that fits the style of heavy and/or power metal with female vocals that aren’t in the operatic style commonly associated with female-fronted metal, the others being releases from Sweden’s Hysterica, and USA’s Huntress and A Sound of Thunder. Hysterica and Huntress have produced really excellent albums with The Art of Metal and Spell Eater respectively while A Sound of Thunder sounds very promising with Out of the Darkness. Crystal Viper adds to the growing pile of high quality female fronted metal releases of 2012 that stand for more traditional values in metal. If Crimen Excepta and the other albums are anything to go by, then I predict that female fronted so call ‘true’ metal (well, heavy and power metal to be more accurate) is going become very big and very soon.

Although I’ve seen Crystal Viper mostly associated as a traditional heavy metal band, Crimen Excepta has a good deal to do with power metal as well, more so than it does heavy metal really, the guitar driven power metal that is, not the keyboard laden type. It’s easy to hear leanings towards both styles though, especially with the trad the leanings that are towards the sound of the NWoBHM. I don’t find it hard to imagine Iron Maiden doing some of these tracks actually, and Crystal Viper is clearly cut from the same sort of cloth; memorable riffs, strong vocals, and good soloing. I’ve encountered the band’s music before but only their debut album, and I think they’re definitely evolved a lot in the relatively few years between that and Crimen Excepta.

Maybe I should get my only real issue out of the way before I get any further, and this is the part where I question the need to place a short interlude track as every other track on the album. They are so short that they don’t really add anything; they only feel like they’re there really to give the listen the briefest of breathers before the band throw their next heavy/power metal anthem at them. I guess it that respect they’ve effective enough, but between every track? That’s most definitely overkill as far as I’m concerned but if you look beyond my current negative tone and consider that this is my only real complaint about the album then you’ll realise that we’re talking an excellent release.

While I wouldn’t say it breaks any moulds, Crystal Viper is one of those bands that do what they do so well that I can’t help but consider it worthy of the higher tiers of ratings that I give to albums. The opening track Witch's Mark sets the pace and level of quality with the fast paced riffs and frankly awesome vocals from Marta Gabriel that will have you in the zone for the rest of the album by the time the chorus hits. While one might consider it samey the album isn’t really long to get stale, clocking in at just under the forty-five minute mark without bonus tracks.

That’s not to say we don’t get treated to a few surprises. Keyboards get used in some places to add additional flavours to the sound, and in a move that goes against the norm for current metal music, they aren’t used in a symphonic manner, but rather to add an eerie layer to the sound that fits in perfectly with Marta Gabriel and Andy Wave’s pounding guitars, not to mention the album’s concept of inquisition, black magic and witches. David Bower from resurrected NWoBHM band Hell also pops up for what I hope will be a well received guest appearance during the title track, bring with him the theatrical vocals that made Hell’s Human Remains so special in 2011. His and Marta Gabriel’s voices work together really well actually.

It’s true that a couple of the tracks, such as Hope Is Gone, Here's New Law, aren’t quite up to the standard of the album’s best offerings such as Witch’s Mark, the title track and It's Your Omen, but we’re talking generally well crafted heavy/power metal tracks with all the aspects of a great classic metal sound covered. It’s a highly enjoyable affair.

Crimen Excepta is an impressive slab of heavy/power metal which I’m sure will fuel the seemingly growing market for female fronted acts in this style. It’s most definitely an album that you should be getting your hands on if the style of any of the other acts I’ve mentioned in this review appeals to you, or of much longer established artists such as Doro. But with a classic metal sound like this no metalhead should really go wrong with Crimen Excepta. All the songs are fast paced and true to the classic metal sounds and credentials of the 80’s.

9.1/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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Psydye wrote:
more than 2 years ago
awesome band! :)

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