Crosswind – Vicious Dominion (No Remorse Records)

Monday, 7th July 2014
Rating: 8/10

Looking across the Bandcamp top sellers, Crosswind’s artwork (along with the logo) had a cool and futuristic approach that seemed like it could go one of two ways: melodic death metal or power metal. Upon hitting play it appears that power metal is the winner, and what a pleasant surprise it is. Crosswind take the more classic approach of bands like Helloween and Iron Maiden, the heaviness of Iced Earth and Symphony X, and the epic nature of Kamelot and merges them into a power/progressive feast.

Fans of the Iron Maiden-esque gallop will certainly rejoice when they hear Vicious Dominion. Much of the material runs at the galloping speed, and one may wake up with sore arms from fist pumping to these anthemic tracks the night before (particularly the title-track). It’s a refreshing turn of events, even opting out of the seemingly obligatory cheese-ridden ballad that waters down many an album in this field. The punchy, heavier approach should do the band well (plenty of great riffs here), as will the number of impressive melodic leads, as on closer “Eye of the Storm.” The vocals are more or less the typical fare but with performed with plenty of charisma, and the occasional falsettos (see “The Order”) showcase a bit more range and are executed extremely well.

It’s no surprise that the compositions here are so well done. Originally coming together in the 1990s, this is only the band’s second album, following 2010’s Opposing Forces. Perhaps patience does indeed pay off, as all of the pieces are really coming together for Crosswind at this point. If you enjoy any of the bands mentioned in the opening paragraph, this is definitely an album that you should be seeking out. Score another victory for random Bandcamp searches!

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