ReviewsCrystal Viper – The Silver Key (Listenable Records)

Crystal Viper – The Silver Key (Listenable Records)

Red line continuity appears to be a requirement in the discography of Crystal Viper – as their new studio record The Silver Key illustrates. The lyrical themes draw from the cosmic horror output of H.P. Lovecraft – a proper follow-up for the content explored on the previous full-length The Cult from 2021. As far as the music, most familiar with the group’s discography know that this Polish outfit combine elements of power and heavy metal – delivering plenty of twin guitar harmonies, tough as steel riffs, epic / heroic vocal melodies, and rhythm section foundational work that galvanizes even the most critical followers of this style.

Early on the songwriting for the latest album reaches back into the solid 80s anthem mechanics that made Iron Maiden and Judas Priest authentic arena stars. Check out the quick hitting tempo interplay between these musicians as well as ripping lead break work that take “Fever of the Gods” and “Old House In the Mist” into mandatory singalong tracks not only in the catchy chorus department but the main guitar/bass hook angles. The vocal acrobatics of Marta Gabriel (who handles piano, bass, and guitar as well on the record) come from a Doro Pesch/Leather Leone school – multi-octave confidence to stretch into epic terrain on “The Key Is Lost” or squeeze out thoughtful, emotional harmony spots for the title track that take on cultural, long-term appeal. The strong triple threat axe team includes Lukasz ‘Andy Wave’ Halczuch and Eric Juris – spreading about sinister quick hitting leads next to a host of galloping riffs and fist pumping rhythms that lift bodies to energetic heights which make “Heading Kadath” as well as the King Diamond meets Yngwie Malmsteen-esque “Escape From Yaddith” intriguing. Physical media owners will get exclusive bonus tracks depending on which version you prefer. This scribe being only privy to the CD bonus believes “Gods of Thunder of Wind and Rain” has that battle / call to arms spirit is an ideal closer – the vocal melodies shine while the marching strains against a piano backdrop shift into a thunderous musical arrangement.

Crystal Viper continually advance their songwriting and production / sound yet never waver from their love and commitment to the original spirit of traditional heavy / power metal. The Silver Key contains ideal riffs executed with tremendous vigor and passion – making this another essential release not only for fans of the band, but those who want to seek out new music beyond the established classics.

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8.5 / 10