Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen
Cruz Del Sur Music
Heavy Metal
8 songs (48:59)
Release year: 0
Crescent Shield, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Thomas

So, this is the second release from Slough Feg’s label-mates Crescent Shield. With a stellar debut on their conscience, where they kind of went through the motions and showed some signs of struggling in certain areas, this is what they should prove as the result of finding themselves, their own special thing, where they got their stuff together and focused more on putting out a deliberate and a, for them, groundbreaking release instead of making a name for themselves. Three years has passed since The Last of My Kind saw the light of day back in 2006. It was looked upon as promising, but received mixed reviews in general. Some looked upon it as album of the year, while others were a little more resigned in their criticism calling it a strong effort with its flaws and dull moments. Crescent Shield are the side-project of members of well-respected bands such as Onward, New Eden and Destiny’s End. This band is generally more of the same, which means that we’re in for a piece of solid epically styled heavy metal.

Just to get the Slough Feg-relation out of the way for anyone wondering what this is in comparison, it’s head and shoulders below. However, this being on a lower level, does not mean that it’s bad though. Not by any means in fact. Even though they have somewhat failed in taking the big evolutionary step from their debut, this is still very enjoyable. Mixing up their obvious heavy metal influences with various progressive and power elements, The Stars of Never Seen makes for a straight-forward yet epic listen. The riffs are very moody and do fit Michael Grant’s superstitious vocal work nicely. The first man that comes to mind when listening to Grant’s voice is Oddleif Steinsland of Communic. While the bands have little in common in general, I find Grant to resemble Steinsland when it comes to vocal style. Even though he’s not sharing the same depth as the solid Communic-frontman, he’s in the same area with his operatic yet powerful style of singing. With atmospheric and fitting, even chugging riffs to back him up, the four including female bassist and Craig Anderson on drums makes for a pretty deadly quintet. This is well-organized and the song-writing is decent even though the songs tend to blur a little. On the other hand, melodic beasts like Temple of the Empty, intense thrashers like My Anger and the riff-fest that is The Grand Horizon makes for some great and heavy power metal moments that shouldn’t be missed.

Down-points? Well, the whole argument for why this isn’t getting a better score, or can’t be compared to their aforementioned label-mates is that no songs really kill. There is nothing bad here mind, but equally, there is nothing really great if you catch my drift. Songs tend to blur together a little, and this will take some time to fully appreciate because of just that. The vocals could for instance be more varied, and so could the overall song-structure. Starting breaking the rules a little more and knock themselves out a little while writing songs will most surely make wonders, as they definitely have the skill to pull off a masterpiece one day.

Killing Songs :
The Gand Horizon, Temple of the Empty, My Anger
Thomas quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Crescent Shield that we have reviewed:
Crescent Shield - The Last Of My Kind reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 69 / 100
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