Crimson Glory - Astronomica (1999)Release ID: 2225
It's been eight years since Crimson Glory's last release, 1991's 'Strange and Beautiful'. The band had made quite a name for themselves at the start of their career, but all their momentum was cut off by "the 90's". Music trends shifted and Crimson Glory, like so many others, failed to remain relevant. However, the band never faltered and eventually returned with 1999's 'Astronomica'.
While 'Strange and Beautiful' wasn't a terrible album, it didn't quite achieve the success of its predecessors, mostly due to the dying metal scene at the time, and the fact that the band tried being more experimental with their approach to songwriting. Thankfully, the boys are back on top form here, with 'Astronomica' going back to a full-on metal assault. Stylistically similar to 'Transcendence', the only major difference here, besides having a different vocalist, is a more beefed up production, which makes the Glory sound heavier than they ever had before.
The album has been scrutinized for its faults however. Most notable is that the drumming is all machine-programmed, a 20-minute police radio broadcast which closes the album off, but wastes a hell of a lot of time in doing so, and then there's vocalist Wade Black! Former vocalist Midnight left some impossible shoes to fill, and it's understandable why most fans weren't keen on Black's efforts, but for what it's worth, I think he does a good job and his voice suits the heavier sound of the band.
If you haven't completely given up with Crimson Glory by now, then you'll find some nice little gems on this album. Songs such as 'War of the Worlds', 'New World Machine', 'Cyber Christ', 'Cydonia' and the title track itself, can all hold their own with the bands previous material, and while it's fair to say this will never be their best release, it's still a worthy addition to any metal collection.