Crystal Viper - Metal Nation
Karhago Records
Heavy/Power Metal
10 songs (43:42)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Thomas
Album of the month

First off, before I even start the review, I would like to state my opinion on an increasingly annoying matter. Please Karhago Records, if you absolutely have to squeeze in those terrible voice-overs, it would be appreciated that it didn’t start in the middle of a GREAT guitar-solo or a chorus that’s about to wreck you with catchiness. I understand your need to defend against piracy, but please don’t throw them randomly around in every song as it ruins my listening experience to a great extent.

Well, rant aside, Crystal Viper is a relatively new Polish band. Metal Nation is their second release since their brilliant debut The Curse of the Crystal Viper back in 2007. They have since then appeared on tribute albums to both W.A.S.P and Cirith Ungol which probably tells you were these guys stand. Did I forget to mention that they’re female-fronted? Yes that’s right, I’m reviewing my second female-fronted band in week which is nothing short of a miracle. Because this is awesome, and two awesome bands with a female vocalist is rare. Very rare. This is nothing like the band I reviewed last week, and again not like your average Nightwish copy-cat. If I were to compare this “lady”, to any other woman it has to be Kimberly Goss, but the truth is that Marta Gabriel aka Leather Witch, sounds much much better, and with more balls than mostly any other male in the genre, except the obvious ones.

Crystal Viper are not your typical Polish metal band. This is as far off black/pagan metal as you can get. They play a healthy mixture consisting of heavy and power metal. Not the flowery type that’ll have you bored after a millisecond, but rather the more aggressive and livelier one that’ll grab you by the face and throw you around like….. only a kickass heavy metal band can. The Crystal Viper strikes and injects its venom after the silently lurking intro that isBreaking the Curse (obvious hint to their debut). However, unlike other pointless intros, it shows signs of what to come, namely an album with melody as one of the main priority as well as consistency. Razor-sharp guitars slash their way through the title-track as well as the just as sharp vocal work from the Leather Witch. The lady in black wails her way through the barricades, and for those of you who have a slight problem with high-pitched vocals whether it be male or female, might run into a slight problem here. Even though she has an audibly wide range, she usually stays in the higher sections as it adds a bunch of strength to this crystal beast. However if you have issues with her vocal style, the wave of riffs, leads and the blazing rhythm-work should be enough to keep you locked onto it. This is high-octane metal from the moment it blasts out of the starting blocks, with musicians from both Grave Digger and X-Wild to lend a hand on a couple of songs.

Crystal Viper will be spoken about throughout the year, and will be recognized by their skill, good song-writing, outstanding vocals, the riffs and the leads. This is bombastic and energetic metal, and if you don’t mind female vocals, which I don’t seem to do anymore, this’ll be no problem to get into and enjoy. Highly Recommended.

Killing Songs :
All slay!
Thomas quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Crystal Viper that we have reviewed:
Crystal Viper - Possession reviewed by Andy and quoted 86 / 100
Crystal Viper - Crimen Excepta reviewed by Bar and quoted 79 / 100
Crystal Viper - Legends reviewed by Cory and quoted 70 / 100
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