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CONFESSIONS OF THE MAKER

 

SONGS

TIME

MUSIC

LYRICS

1. The Charioteer

4:30

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

2. Confessions Of The Maker

5:50

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

3. Northern Rage

4:49

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

4. The Fools' Ballet

3:44

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

5. The Terror

7:13

Mikael Dahl

Andreas Götesson

6. Panic

3:44

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

7. White Wolves

4:30

Mikael Dahl

Andreas Götesson

8. The Burning Vision

5:03

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

9. Revolution In The Shadowland

4:30

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

10. Terminal Voyage

4:47

Mikael Dahl

Andreas Götesson

11. Silent Angel

5:25

Mikael Dahl

Mikael Dahl

 

Release date: 2005-04-01. Catalogue number: Heavy Fidelity 2. EAN number: 7350013660023. Vocals by Daniel Heiman. Guitars, backing vocals, keyboards and lead vocals on 11 by Mikael Dahl. Guitars by Jonathan Nyberg. Bass guitars by Claes Wikander. Drums by Stefan Svantesson. Production, recording and mixing by Mikael Dahl and Claes Wikander at Crystal Sounds October to December 2004. Drums recorded by Andy La Roqcue at Los Angered Recordings 2004-10-15 to 2004-10-20. Mastering by Dragan Tanaskovic at Bohus Mastering 2005-01-12. Cover artwork by Mattias Norén. Logotype by Kristian Wåhlin. Logotype design by Andreas Götesson. Design, layout and photos by Tommy Dahl.

 

21st Century Metal Net 

The Swedish pure heavy metal band CRYSTAL EYES has made a very positive addition to their line-up from this 4th album. Ex-LOST HORIZON singer Daniel Heiman is now officially on board and took lead vocals virtually on all songs (he made his guest appearance on 1 song on the previous record). Their music has been based on double "twin lead" harmonising guitars à la IRON MAIDEN, ACCEPT or HELLOWEEN. They combine these traditional metal thing with a catchy vocal melody and sing-along choruses, bringing the whole thing to something that can sometimes be called "Happy Metal". However the strength of this five-piece has to be found in their original songwriting which contains a good amount of impressive riff combinations and hooks. Daniel provide the band with his unrivaled strong voice, making their music far stronger than before. Two guitar players display their sense of melodic harmony effectively and it makes their music sound even more dramatic. It's a pity there still is a weak point in the department of bass sound and production, but I'm sure we can expect a better prodution from them in the near future with much focused heavy metal of their own. A good mix of tradition, power and melody is here to stay. BY: Masa

 

Agonyzone 3/5

Det här är min första kontakt med Boråsbandet Crystal Eyes. Jag har precis fått "Confessions Of The Maker" i min hand även om den kom ut i april förra året och dom har slutfört inspelningen av sin kommande platta. Så kan det bli ibland. Crystal Eyes fjärde album har fått Daniel Heimans starka stämma i sin ringhörna. Inte sagt att det skulle minska intresset för nästa release. Jag tycker att bandet har potential att utvecklas och att förfina den väg som dom slagit in på. Det är absolut inget fel på låtarna eller framförandet av dom. Men tyvärr måste jag erkänna att trots bra, välspelat material så känns det lite av en demo. En väldigt bra demo ska väl nämnas, men jag skulle önska lite mer produktion om jag hade fått önska. Albumet känns lite platt och jag saknar djupet. Låtarna finns där och det är absolut inget att klaga på när det gäller sång eller hantering av instrument. Min personliga favoriter är den melodiska åttiotalsluktande "The Burning Vision" och den gåshudsframkallande "Silent Angel". Kanske är jag lite för kräsen, men jag känner att Crystal Eyes har så mycket mer att ge. Visa mig att jag har rätt, grabbar!!! BY: Magnus Ek

 

Alternative Zine 

I didn’t hear much from Crystal Eyes before this album, I did remember listening to their debut album some time ago, and not being overly impressed with it, to be truthful, I thought it was immature and uninteresting. But that just made listening to this so much more of a pleasant surprise. The band has progressed in leaps and bounds, creating a good, solid power metal album that stands with the best of them as an equal, if not superior release. First smart move was cleaning up everything, the music isn’t all over the place, its clean, focused, the melodies are clear and precise and the playing is faultless, second, is the improved sound, crisp while not being overtly flashy, it just sounds…right. Another smart move was bringing on Daniel Helman to sing on the album, to those who do not know him, he's the ex-vocalist for power metal band Lost Horizon, and one of the greatest vocalists alive, I mean it, He sounds like a power metal vocalist should sound, and he can reach any damn note he pleases, he's that good. Starting off with a bang, is The Charioteer, a blazing power metal anthem, immediately catchy and involving, with some soaring vocals by Helman and a great middle section that sounds as if spewed by Iron Maiden, again, its clean, its simple, and that is what makes this a winner. The title track is another great song, simple riffing, great lead work, a crunchy sound, it has everything. My favorite track is probably The Fools' Ballet, again, all the dots connect and the band manages to pull off a great power metal song. I recently read that Helman left the band and continues to forge on, I can only hope that he founds a proper vehicle for his talents, and that the band manage to find a vocalist that is up to the task, since Helman set the bar really, really high. BY: Alon Miasnikov

 

Ancient Spirit 8/10

Typischer Schweden-Metal wird uns hier von CRYSTAL EYES geboten. 'Confessions...' ist mittlerweile der vierte Release dieser Band und meines Erachtens auch der Beste. Im Vergleich zum Vorgänger 'Vengeance Descending' wurde der Sängerposten neu vergeben. Kein Geringerer als LOST HORIZON Frontmann Daniel Heiman ist bei zehn der elf Songs zu hören. Kein schlechter Tausch wie ich finde, denn Daniel hat die wesentlich variablere Stimme im Vergleich zum Vorgänger Mikael (der sich nun voll auf seinen Gitarrenposten vorbereiten durfte). Dies tat dem Songmaterial sehr gut, denn so abwechslungsreich und spielfreudig klangen CRYSTAL EYES noch nie. Natürlich beschreiten sie mit 'Confessions' keine gänzlich neuen Wege, noch immer scheinen die großen Vorbilder ACCEPT (beim Titeltrack), RUNNING WILD (beim Uptempo-Track 'Northern Rage'), RAGE, HELLOWEEN (bei 'Revolution...' und der Ballade 'The Fools Ballet'), GAMMA RAY, EDGUY (bei 'Panic' und 'Terminal Voyage') und natürlich IRON MAIDEN durch. Hierbei zeigt sich gerade die Gitarrenfraktion von ihrer besten Seite, u.a. schütteln die Beiden ziemlich viele zweistimmige Schmankerl aus dem Ärmel. Der Sound kommt ziemlich druckvoll und glasklar rüber, könnte aber noch etwas dreckiger sein! Etwas Kritik muss sich die Band wieder einmal bei den fröhlichen Gesangslinien und dem einen oder anderen zu "happy" ausgefallenen Refrain gefallen lassen. Man hat manchmal das Gefühl, die Gasangspassagen wären noch nicht ganz ausgereift (bei 'Northern Rage' zum Beispiel). Lob auch für die von Mikael gesungene Abschluss-Ballade 'Silent Angel', welche mit ihren bombastischen Araangements sehr gut gelungen ist und live bestimmt ein Mitsing-Knaller wird. Gut gemacht Jungs! BY: Frank

 

AOR Dream Zones 75/100

With Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon) the situation has changed radical for this Swedish heavy metal band. It feels like the whole band has a more positive attitude to the songwriting and gives the impression of a happy metal family again. It's not just one step forward for the band with this album, but more like three steps. The variations are the bands strength and with the 80s heavy metal sound they dig it way forward. The refrains could have ended up on any famous hardrock acts album. I get the feeling of a band writing hardrock songs and then put some angry guitars and hard hitting drums on, and the result comes out in this melodic vein. And I say again! Vocals are superb and fits like a glove into Crystal Eyes sound. So if you didn't like this band before or just thought it was another average band should reconsider big time. Check it up. Hammerfall isn't the only band playing metal. The press might let you think that, but they are wrong. BY: Johnny Forslund

 

Ars Metallia 3,5/5

Je dois dire que j’ai un peu de mal à chroniquer cet album, d’une part parce que le power metal scandinave est un genre qui commence à me gonfler, car il n’évolue plus depuis ses débuts, car la recette efficace s’est transformée en bouffe déshydratée… Bref, alors que je possède l’entièreté de leur discographie, cet album de Crystal Eyes m’a fait l’effet d’un gros retour en arrière, sans bonne ni mauvaise surprise. C’est l’album de 2005, et si le groupe existe encore dans cinq ans, celui de 2010 sera identique. Ajoutons au tableau des sons de claviers un peu "coin-coin" et on obtient un album ni fondamentalement mauvais ni intrinsèquement bon. Un produit formaté pour plaire à un public formaté. Je ne comprenais pas pourquoi Payre (guitariste de Karyan et suédois) crachait sur le genre, maintenant, je sais. Si vous aimez Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Storyteller, Gaia Epicus, Hammerfall et les clones Helloweeniens, tentez le coup. BY: Wan

 

Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles 8/10

The latest from these Swedes finds a minor, yet crucial lineup addition. Vocalist Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) joins the band, allowing guitarist and band main-man Mikael Dahl to concentrate on his speciality. While not taking anything away from Dahl, the addition of a world class singer like Heiman could catapult Crystal Eyes to the upper tier of the crowded Power Metal scene. Where much of the genre has a decided sameness to it (read: boring), Crystal Eyes relies on a solid foundation of Maiden and Priest, then adds some melodicism as a finishing touch. They avoid the paint by number prison that so many other power metallers get rapped in with an ability to deliver songs which vary enough from track to track to be interesting. Highlight of the album is the title track, which has a strong Rainbow resonance to it; combining a heavy riffing reference point, a very melodic chorus, all within the structure of a ballad. Again, the band plays to its strength again and again. The vocals are crisp, yet raw and not over produced. The musicianship is superb. While hardly a "new" band on the block, they are certainly highly recommended as a fresh approach on the power metal scene. BY: Allan Grusie

 

Bright Eyes 10/13

Mit ihrem mittlerweile vierten Studioalbum "Confessions Of The Maker" beehren uns die Schweden von CRYSTAL EYES mit einem bunten Strauß an gutklassigen Metalsongs. Die musikalischen Einflüsse der Jungs um den herausragenden Ex-Lost Horizon-Sänger Daniel Heiman sind hörbar in den guten alten Achtziger Jahren bei Acts wie den Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Helloween oder Accept angesiedelt. So ist es auch nicht weiter verwunderlich, dass sich der Opener "The Charioteer" zugleich als der erste Ohrwurm auf "Confessions Of The Maker" erweist. Auch der folgende Titelsong, der ein waschechter Midtempokracher geworden ist, versprüht eine Unmenge an Energie, die CRYSTAL EYES in ihre Musik hineinlegen. Aber auch ein schneller melodiöser Song wie "Northern Rage" hat seine Qualitäten und kann durch ein konsequentes und schlüssiges Songwriting durchaus überzeugen. Wenn auch nicht alle Songs das hohe Niveau der ersten Hälfte des Albums halten können, so sollte man die Leistung der Schweden anerkennen und ihrem neuen Album ein Ohr leihen. Für so manchen Metalfreak, der von der derzeitigen deutschen Metal-Szene enttäuscht ist, könnte gerade "Confessions Of The Maker" eine echte Bereicherung für dessen Sammlung darstellen. BY: Thomas Klaner

 

Close-Up Magazine 

Att säga att CRYSTAL EYES fjärde alster VENGEANCE DESCENDING (2003) tog metalvärlden med storm vore ett klart övertramp.
Men plattan satte bandet på kartan, och på CONFESSIONS OF THE MAKER fortsätter det på den inslagna vägen av traditionell åttiotalsmetal. Influenserna är många, men jag kommer närmast att tänka på HELLOWEEN och RUNNING WILD. Men det handlar aldrig om att plagiera, snarare om att hylla. Snyggt. Nye sångaren Daniel Heiman (ex-LOST HORIZON) gör en formidabel insats. Precis som sina förebilder väljer gänget att köra hårt på trallvänliga allsångsrefränger och säga vad man vill om det, men det har en osviklig charm. BY: Johnny Strömbäck

 

Dark Tales 

Was anfänglich als Gastspiel auf dem dritten Release "Vengeance Descending" (2003) der Schweden CRYSTAL EYES mit dem ex-LOST HORIZON-Sängers Daniel Heiman begonnen hatte findet nun seine Fortsetzung: CRYSTAL EYES-Mastermind Mikael Dahl (Guitars) konnte den sympathischen Frontmann mit der bombastischen Octaven-Stimme für sein neues Album "Confessions Of The Maker" gewinnen. Die Song-Qualitäten der Vorgänger-Scheiben konnten noch weiter ausgebaut werden, so dass man wieder von einem niveauvollen Melodic-Power-Happen sprechen kann. Die Eigenständigkeit der Truppe ist auch dieses Mal kaum zu überhören, und demzufolge liegen elf voluminöse Glanzlichter auf "Confessions Of The Maker" bereit. Die Tracks ballern so richtig druckvoll und beachtlich durch die Anlage, dass einem Hören und Sehen vergeht, und über allem thront die ritterliche und ambrosische Stimme Daniel Heimans. Hallelujah! Die Platte ist total geil!!! Klingt überzogen? Entspricht aber der Wahrheit. Somit sind alle Nummern kleine Meilensteine des powervollen Melodic-Metals, versehen mit fesselnden Breaks, gepfefferten Gitarren-Licks und harmonische Refrains aus der Feder von Mikael Dahl. Hört euch nur mal beispielsweise das Titelstück "Confessions Of The Maker" an: Ein Song für die "Ewigkeit"! SO! UND NICHT ANDERS hat ein Song zu klingen! Und somit macht es verdammt wenig Sinn einzelne Tracks hervorzuheben, die von einer leibhaftigen Anmut geprägt sind und sich unweigerlich in die Gehörlauscher festsetzen. Nur der Chorus am Ende von "Silent Angel" (einer Ballade), die übrigens von Mikael Dahl selbst gesungen wird, wirkt ein wenig nervig, aber so sind nun mal die Schweden! Skol! BY: Michael Wohde

 

Encrucijada Webzine 10/10

Recuerdo cuando esta banda editó su primer disco "World of black and silver" allá por 1999. Aquí en Argentina no fue muy bien tratado por la crítica especializada, pero CRYSTAL EYES era un grupo que recién daba sus primeros pasos en esto del metal melódico. No es que aquel viejo disco haya sido malo, todo lo contrario... lo que pasa es que por ese momento había "un millón" de bandas que no hacían más que repetir lo que ya habían hecho sus ídolos. Lo cierto es que muchas de esas agrupaciones ya han desaparecido y CRYSTAL EYES siguen en pie con cuatro discos a cuestas y una experiencia enorme. "Confessions of the maker" es el resultado de la evolución de todos estos años transcurridos. Sin temor a equivocarme, este disco es el mejor trabajo de esta banda y quizás le sea difícil superarlo en el próximo, pero quien sabe... todo puede dar una sorpresa. Para quien no conoce CRYSTAL EYES, se trata de un grupo con fuertes influencias en el Metal melódico de los 80's, a saber: ACCEPT, HELLOWEEN. También fueron unos de los primeros en incorporar elementos del Hard Rock al Power Metal, en este caso podemos observar el legado de bandas como TNT, SCORPIONS o los mismos WHITE LION. Lo importante de "Confessions of the maker" ronda el tema de la producción, si bien a cargo de Mikael Dahl (guitarrista) y Claes Wikander (bajista), también debe informarse que parte de los instrumentos fueron grabados en el estudio Los Angered Recordings junto a Andy La Rocque (KING DIAMOND). Por otro lado, "Confessions of the maker" no es un trabajo conceptual, por el contrario la lírica es muy rica y variada. Las canciones hablan de reflecciones sobre la vida y ciencia ficcón ("Confessions of the maker", "The fools' ballet" "The burning vision"), fantasía ("Terminal voyage", "Revolution in the shadowland") y como es de esperar en toda banda nórdica, un tributo épico a los vikingos a través de "Northern rage" y "The charioteer". El vocalista Daniel Heiman es uno de los mejores en la actualidad de este género. En conclución, un trabajo imprescindible para todos aquellos que aman al metal melódico. La verdad que ya es tiempo de que se reconozcan como uno de los principales representantes del Power Metal actual. BY: Julio

 

FFM-Rock 

Mit "Confessions of the Maker" liefern die schwedischen Melodic Metaller Crystal Eyes jetzt ihr viertes Langeisen ab. Mir bis dto. nur durch einzelne Stücke bekannt und von der Fachpresse bisher nicht unbedingt hoch gehandelt, erscheint hier ein durchweg ordentliches Album mit 10 Tracks. Für die Mischung aus straightem, europäisch geprägtem 80er-Jahre Metal, gepaart mit eingängigen Melodien und Chören, zeigt sich überwiegend Gitarrist Mikael Dahl verantwortlich. Eingesungen hat den Silberling die Ex-Lost Horizon Frontröhre Daniel Heiman, der stimmlich auch in den hohen Passagen überzeugen kann. Die Songs sind weitestgehend im Uptempo Bereich gehalten und sehr Gitarren orientiert aufgebaut, wobei Rhythmik im Vordergrund steht und bei den Soli nicht übertrieben rumgefrickelt wird (siehe Anspieltipps). Doublebass wurde dort platziert, wo es Sinn macht, der Bass knallt recht ordentlich, was der sehr ansprechenden Produktion zuzuschreiben ist. Lästige Keyboardklänge sucht man außer bei der Ballade "Silent Angel" vergeblich. Das es auch ruhiger, aber trotzdem treibend zugehen kann, beweißt das abwechslungsreiche 7-minütige "The Terror". Akustikgitarre und ruhige Gesangsparts gepaart mit aggressiven Vocals und wütenden Gitarren. Klasse arrangiert! Crystal Eyes sind für mich vergleichbar mit ihren Landsleuten von Supreme Majesty, wobei die einen Tick "ruhiger" agieren, den "neuen" At Vance mit Mats Leven und ein klein wenig "älteren" Freedom Call. Melodic Metaller – antesten das Teil! BY: Mike Langer

 

Force Fanzine 78/100

Cuarto Lp. para la banda sueca con marcado sonido Heavy europeo donde el cambio de vocalista hace que su nueva propuesta tenga mucho más atractivo que sus predecesores. Es curioso porque el vocalista que ha dejado el puesto, Mikael Dahl (ex Painted Skies) no se ha desligado del grupo sino que sigue componiendo ¿entonces que es lo que fallaba? ¿el como vocal? ¿las composiciones?. Sea lo que sea el caso es que en un principio tenían pensado que Daniel Heiman vocalista y guitarra grabase un par de temas pero finalmente ha sido el encargado de grabar todo el disco y más aún de quedarse en dicho puesto, (un Daniel Heiman que dejaba Lost Horizon y que además está en una banda de versiones de Judas Priest junto al ex guitarra de Crystal Eyes, Niclas Karlsson y en otra llamada Heed) en lugar de Mikael Dahl (ex Painted Skies). El resto de los músicos los que vienen apareciendo desde su debut aunque con anterioridad hubo otros; Jonathon Nyberg guitarra entro en el 97 y en su puesto pasaron Niclas Karlsson y Jukka Kaupaamaa; Claes Wikander bajista también se unió en el 97 y procedía del grupo Sunrise estando antes que él, Christian Gunnarsson, Kim Koivo y Marco Nicolaidis y Kujtim Gashi en la batería desde el 95 aunque en un periodo fue sustituido por Stefan Svantesson (Freternia). Antes de ellos estuvo Martin Tilander. “Confessions Of The Maker” no es que marque un nuevo estilo en el grupo pero lo más llamativo que finalmente es lo que cuenta es que las canciones son mejores, menos rapidez, más directas; antes no dejaban de ser un grupo de Heavy Metal con canciones puntuales pero una banda entre otras tantas muchas y aunque aquí hay alguna que otra composición pasable en general es su mejor propuesta. Lo que te encontrarás es Heavy Metal de cortes clásico y muy europeo, así “The Charioteer” tiene cierto sonido a Hammerfall y Edguy; “Confesión Of The Maker” es más melódica acompañada de un riffs entre Accept y Saxon; “Northern Rage” sigue la pauta con guitarras que pueden sonarte vagamente a Running Wild como ocurre en “The Fool´s Ballet” donde incluyen coros estilo Edguy y similares; “The Terror” cuenta con más variedad incluyendo guitarras acústicas, partes melódicas donde la voz de Daniel se presenta en varios registros; “Panic” o “Revolution In The Shadowland” se acerca más a lo que hacían antes, temas más rápidos; “White Wolves” pone a Daniel en tesituras algo más Hardroqueras a la hora de cantar; “The Burning Vision” es Heavy melódico; “Terminal Vovage” tiene guitarras directas e incluye algún que otro grito para cerrar con “Silent Angel” a modo de balada con cierto toque a Blind Guardian en los giros de voz. Su mejor disco hasta la fecha. BY: Mariano Crespo

 

Froster 7/10

Четыре демо-ленты и, теперь уже четыре полноценных альбома. Таков творческий путь за 14 лет сущестования шведских пауэр металлеров из CRYSTAL EYES. У меня в коллекции, как ни странно есть аж три из этих четырех альбомов. И могу с уверенностью сказать, что по сравнению с "Vengeance Descending" (2003) банда значительно выросла. Правда ихний power metal по-прежнему не вызывает никаких сверхположительных эмоций. К слову, в группу пришел новый вокалист Сорен Адамссон. Он немного получше предыдущего горлодера, впрочем это не сильно скзазалось на общем звучании группы. По-прежнему все динамично, красиво, ажурно и... предсказуемо. Пауэр есть паэур, удивить тут уже нечем. Стандартнячок, но послушать тем не менее приятно... BY: 

 

Glory Daze 

Swedish heavy metal band Crystal Eyes are new contenders for me. Surprise to say that these guys have been in existence since 1992! My god, was grunge invented then? To think that thirteen years have passed by. Also, it appears that three albums have passed us by. Where these guys have been remains a big secret, but now no longer. Their cult/unknown status may very well have been a thing of the past, but 2005 sees Crystal Eyes right in the thick of precedings. I guess the main reason for their 'coming of age' is the presence of new lead singer Daniel Heiman. Trainspotters will have no problem recognising him from sci-fi progressive metallers Lost Horizon. Certainly, the main reason why Crystal Eyes have come to my attention is the mere presence of Mr Heiman, as I was a huge fan of Lost Horizon. But let's give credit where credit is due, and pay tribute to guitarist and founder Mikael Dahl, who really is the brains-trust behind this outfit.. lets be honest. And damn, if Crystal Eyes don't make an immediate impression!! Certainly, the songs on "Confessions Of The Maker" do. Not having heard their previous efforts, I am loathe to say how this stacks up against them. But from what I am hearing here, the band have something going for them - mixing Hammerfall and Tad Morose style riffing, with Lost Horizon styled voicings. It is HM, that alternates between super fast, fast, and anthemic mid-pace. Heiman's booming voice gives everyone a wake-up call on 'The Charioteer'. Well hello there! The title track which follows next is one that varies pace throughout, the guitars cut/shred all the way, as does Heiman's screams. Hammerfall styled HM is the order of the day with 'Northern Rage'. Another track which peaks and troughs is the seven minute mini-epic 'The Terror'. I was sort of reminded of Savatage here. It probably doesn't get any faster than 'Panic'. This one takes on Accept like madness, and in some ways has similarities to German rockers Twyster. 'Revolution In The Shadowland' shifts gears between 80's styled metal, and the faster frantic style of recent years. I like this song because Daniel sings about 'glory days..' I'm sold ha ha!! The album closer 'Silent Angel' is sung by Mikael Dahl and meanders through to the end. I am impressed with his guitar-playing too. Some lovely solos on the album! Despite the fact they are still on a low key label, the band have enough clout to look beyond this current situation. With "Confessions Of The Maker", they at least have an album they can be proud of, and one which will make people in the industry sit up and take notice. And yes, there is life beyond Hammerfall. Swedish heavy metal is as diverse as the many bands that populate the genre now, and Crystal Eyes have put their hands in recognition of that fact. BY: George Thatcher

 

Hard Sounds 73/100

Quarto album per i nordici Crystal Eyes, che con questo "Confessions Of The Maker" cambiano voce dietro il microfono reclutando temporaneamente fra le loro fila Daniel Heiman: il vocalist dei Lost Horizon ritorna a cantare con la band svedese dopo essere apparso in una traccia del precedente "Vengeance Descending". Il gruppo si muove su coordinate stilistiche heavy/power, con un sound quadrato ed abbastanza aggressivo, distanziandosi alquanto dalla odierni produzione power metal melensa ed in perenne doppia cassa. Il risultato è un disco interessante e godibile: l'ugola potente e carismatica di Daniel Heiman fa da fulcro portante per una struttura sonora, precisa e compatta, che passa con tranquillità da canzoni power come l'opener "The Charoteer" a mid tempo come la title track, dal sapore molto heavy. L'ottima cavalcata di "Norther Rage", l'intro hard rock della ritmata "The Fool's Ballet", la semi-ballad "The Terror" e il "powerone doppiacassa" di "Panic" rendono varia ed interessante la prima parte dell'album. Anche il secondo sestetto di songs rende giustizia alla bravura e alla capacità di songwriting della band: insomma un disco in cui la caratura delle tracce è equamente distribuita su tutto l'album, rendendo il disco godibile ed adatto a tutti i power/heavy fans, che a mio parere dovrebbero dare ALMENO una chance a questo prodotto. Produzione e missaggio professionali ed un ottima cover, a mio parere geniale ed irriverente, chiudono la descrizione di un prodotto che fa ben sperare per la scena power metal: non sarà certo il capolavoro immortale che darà una svolta al genere, ma comunque è un disco non banale ed interessante, fatto che coi tempi che corrono non è certo poco. Un disco di heavy/power come non si sentiva da un po' di tempo. Un acquisto sicuramente consigliato ai fans del genere. BY: Fabio Rancati

 

Harder Beat Magazine 5/6

Sweden's Crystal Eyes has been around since 1992 and was founded by talented guitarist Mikael Dahl. Although this is Crystal Eyes fourth release, it's the first full length CD to feature the awesome vocals of Daniel Heiman, formerly of Lost Horizon. The the band also includes Jonathan Nyberg (guitar), Claes Wikander (bass) and Stefan Svantesson (drums). The addition of Heiman on vocals has generated a lot of interest in the relatively unknown band and their latest, Confessions Of The Maker has the potential to make Crystal Eyes a household name. Highlights include "The Charioteer," "Confessions of the Maker," "The Fool's Ballet" and "The Terror." So weather you were a fan of Lost Horizon or you just really enjoy epic fantasy based, melodic power metal, give this album a try. You won't regret it! BY: Andy Laudano

 

Harvest Moon Music 4/5

Sweden's Crystal Eyes have been around since 1992, hovering on the fringes of the European power metal scene without generating enough momentum to be thrust into the arena among the genre leaders. Although their three previous releases have been good, if unremarkable, the band remained in the shadow of the likes of Hammerfall and Cryonic Temple. Confessions of the Maker, the band's latest release, looks to tip the scales in Crystal Eyes' favor. Besides an evident maturation in the songwriting process, mainman Mikael Dahl relinquished his vocal duties and turned over the mic to erstwhile Lost Horizon crooner Daniel Heiman. Am I declaring a coup among the top bands in the genre? Not hardly, though Crystal Eyes have certainly taken a step closer to that aforementioned arena. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Confessions of the Maker is the addition of Heiman to the lineup of Crystal Eyes. Those who are familiar with his amazing versatility while fronting Lost Horizon will find a quite different style on this album, with a more restrained performance being the norm. There are times when he reaches that uppermost octave, but they are few and if more numerous would probably do more to disrupt the music than compliment it. The vocal lines were, in all probability, written by Dahl as he himself would have sung them, and it is obvious that Dahl can't come close to matching the range of Heiman. Even still, as I said, Heiman's vocal performance fits the mood and melody of the music like a glove. Dahl does return to the mic on the closing ballad "Silent Angel", however, and will probably do so again for the next album since Heiman agreed to do only this one release with Crystal Eyes. A defining characteristic of the Swedish style of power metal is a crunchy, crisp guitar sound. The dual guitar riffs and harmonies from Dahl and Jonathan Nyberg adhere to such a standard throughout the album, and in fact are the means by which Confessions of the Maker achieves the praise that it does. Never over-the-top or braggadocious, the twin-guitar assaults and solo leads drive home the songs without breaking stride with the mood and feel of the music. It's obvious that Dahl took the time to carefully construct each track, placing just the right amount of flair needed without falling into the trap of excessive shredding or showmanship. Dahl's attention to detail is a big part of the maturity that I spoke of at the beginning of this review. Equally important to the success of this album is the rhythm section of bass player Claes Wikander and drummer Stefan Svantesson. Up in the mix, both Wikander's bass lines and Svantesson's beat patterns are distinct, rousing, and well-executed. While nearly every song on Confessions of the Maker is an enjoyable listen, none of them stood apart from the rest as a favorite. This is not to say that the album is without variation, because it certainly has enough of that to keep the listener's attention throughout. Highlights do abound, and those who enjoy the upbeat, optimistically bardic power metal style will find "The Fools' Ballet" a more than pleasing experience. Complete with an anthemic guitar opening and catchy chorus, this mid-paced track succeeds in emulating an '80s Teutonic metal vibe sure to satisfy fans of Blind Guardian and Helloween. For the aficionado of epic compositions, the 7+ minute "The Terror" has it all. Somber, acoustic passages linked by menacing riffs and rumbling bass lines provide the backdrop to Heiman's most diverse performance of the album. Reaching deep to growl a threat or hitting a soaring falsetto, Daniel shows why he's rated among the top power metal vocalists on the scene today. Of course there are the scorchers here too, "Panic" being a prime example, but I found the pure burners to be the least enjoyable of the songs. I'm sure shred fans will disagree, but I prefer more depth to my music. For that, "The Charioteer", "White Wolves" and "Northern Rage" highlight not only aggression but interesting songwriting. Confessions of the Maker is certainly Crystal Eyes' best album to date, and a respectable addition to the European power metal catalog. Should Dahl continue his compositional maturation, I suspect that his outfit will find themselves sharing that arena before long. BY: 

 

Heavy Hardes 4/6

Confessions Of The Maker ist bereits das vierte Album von Crystal Eyes. Straighten Heavy Metal haben sich die Schweden auf die Fahne geschrieben, so das Plattenlabel. Deutlich merkbar ist, dass sich Mikael Dahl, der Kopf der Band (Sänger, Gitarrist, Songwriter), von den Metalbands der 80er Jahre ala Iron Maiden, Helloween, Rage, Running Wild, Accept, Whitesnake usw. inspirieren lässt. Für die Vocals der aktuellen Scheibe konnten Crystal Eyes den ehemaligen Frontman von Lost Horizon, Daniel Heiman gewinnen. Bereits auf dem Vorgänger-Album Vegeance Descending ist Daniel auf einem Song zu hören und was anfänglich als Wiederholung seines damaligen Gast-Auftritts für zwei Titel geplant war, endete damit, dass Mikael Dahl nur noch auf einem Track zu hören ist. Das Plattenlabel hat aber verlauten lassen, dass Daniel bei den anstehenden Live-Auftritten von Crystal Eyes zwar mit von der Partie ist, aber kein festes Bandmitglied sein wird. Zu dem Album ist zu sagen, dass es sich nicht wirklich von der breiten Heavy Metal Masse abhebt. Allerdings ist es für Liebhaber des melodischen Heavy Metal durchaus empfehlenswert mal ein Ohr drauf zu haben. Die Songs auf der Scheibe sind sehr melodisch, meist im Midtempo gehalten, haben sehr eingängige Refrains, harte Gitarrenriffs und eignen sich wunderbar zum Headbangen. "The Charioteer" ist der Opener des Albums. Den Song prägt der hymenartigen Refrain und Backgroundchor. Die Stimme von Daniel Heiman ist wirklich gut, allerdings muss man die hohen Schreie (a la Kastrat - grins) mögen. Zu den schnelleren Nummern zählen "Nothern Rage" und "Panic", die trotz des schnellen Tempos nicht zu hektisch wirken. Die meist zweistimmig gespielten Gitarren lassen einem das Herz aufgehen. Am Ende des Albums rundet die Ballade "Silent Angel", gesungen von Mikael Dahl mit Keybordklängen untermalt, das Album ab. Fazit: Diese Scheibe ist durchaus empfehlenswert, allerdings für den großen Durchbruch wird's für die Jungs aus Boras leider nicht reichen. BY: Tine

 

Heavy Metal Universe 5/6

Fourth album for the Swedes of CRYSTAL EYES, this 'Confessions of the maker' is the right follower of the others and new a step forward. The last opus (Vengeance descending) was the first to have a real professional production, and featured LOST HORIZON's singer Daniel Heiman on one song (The wizard's apprentice). 'Confessions of the maker' also possess a good sound, but today Heiman is singing on all but one track (Silent angel - feat. guitar player Mikael Dahl on vox), and the great voice of this performer gives a very professional and even more impressive personnality than before. CRYSTAL EYES is one of the most melodic band ever since their very first album (World of black and silver), because of Dahl's incredible ability to create unforgettable refrains which make tracks sounding like some cartoon-heavy metal hymns. So it's one more beautiful album, full of everything's needed from the solos to the killer riffs. My hat is off to you, gentlemen! BY: Séb

 

Hell Spawn 80/100

Daniel Heiman maakte van Lost Horizon een topper met zijn pakkende unieke en krachtige stem. Ongetwijfeld is hij één van 's werelds beste metalzangers, ook live en ik heb dan ook serieus gebaald toen het nieuws werd verspreid dat hij een andere "horizon" ging opzoeken. Olie drijft echter altijd boven en dus was het afwachten wat de toekomst zou brengen. Geduld is toch een mooie deugd, niet?. Mikael Dahl, het enige overblijvende oorspronkelijke lid van Crystal Eyes lijfde hem voorlopig als "gastzanger" in voor het vierde album van deze Zweden. Twee nummertje was de bedoeling, meer niet! Deze gitarist en voormalig zanger wist echter ook dat deze transfer zou leiden tot een grotere naambekendheid en dus kreeg onze Lost Horizon vriend 'une carte blanche'. Daniel Heiman mag eigenlijk in eender welke band zingen, het zal steeds topklasse teweeg brengen maar ik hoor hem toch liever bij het pure en steviger werk. Laat hem eens een thrash metal album inzingen! Goed, dromen zijn bedrog maar dit schijfje is het zeker niet; superzang, prachtige uithalen, super gitaren, power metal ten top maar het mocht ietsje minder "happy" zijn van mij. En dat is de belangrijkste opmerking die ik heb. BY: Rico

 

Les Acteurs de l'Ombre 9/10

Après douze ans de carrière et trois albums studio à leur actif, les Suédois de Crystal Eyes reviennent avec le dernier-né de leur imagination. Sur ces trois albums c'est Mikael Dahl (le guitariste et principal compositeur) que l'on peut entendre chanter. Sur Confessions Of The Maker, Mikael laisse sa place à un certain Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon), qui a déjà fait une apparition sur Vengeance Descending, leur précédent album. Ici, Daniel n'aurait dû chanter que deux morceaux mais il en a été autrement et il a interprété l'album complet, il fera aussi les tournées avec eux ; malgré cela Daniel n'est pas un membre définitif de Crystal Eyes. Attardons nous maintenant à la musique. Crystal Eyes joue du heavy metal et le moins que l'on puisse dire est que ce quintet le joue très bien. L'album commence très fort avec le titre The Charioteer, qui parle du dernier jour de Thor (dieu de la mythologie Viking) avant la grande bataille de Ragnarök (grande bataille mythique dans laquelle les dieux se battent contre des géants et où meurt Thor) inspiré par le recueil de poésie de Edda. Puis des morceaux tel que Confessions Of The Maker, Silent Angel, Panic, The Fool's Ballet et certaines parties de The Burning Visions sont inspirées du titre de cet album et reflètent bien le coté sombre bien représenté par l'artwork du CD. D'autres titres comme The Terror ou White Wolves sont, quant à eux, directement inspirés du monde fantastique de Warhammer (excellent jeu vidéo). Le tout bien influencé par des géants du heavy metal allemand tel que Accept, Running Wild, Rage ou encore Helloween. Précisons que Silent Angel a été interprét ée par Mikael Dahl qui officie aux claviers sur ce titre. Coté production, ce sont Mikael et Claes qui s'en sont chargés ainsi que du mixage et du mastering. Le travail est à la hauteur de leur capacité musicale et on sent le travail de professionnels. L'album n'est pas surproduit, ce qui nous fait savourer chacune des cinquante quatre minutes qu'il dure. En conclusion, je dirais que c'est album est excellent, bien réalisé avec une très bonne production et qu'il nous laisse présager une très bonne continuation de carrière. Si nos amis nous livre une prochaine galette aussi bonne que celle-ci, il y a fort à parier que leur place au panthéon des dieux du heavy metal sera réservée. BY: Dark Jukka

 

Live 4 Metal 

The band’s last release was a surprise hit in my eyes a couple of years back. I’d never heard of the band before, until I came across an ad for “Vengeance Descending.” It was classic power metal done right. Now, things have been shaken up slightly as former vocalist for a very under rated band (Lost Horizon) Daniel Heiman sings on this album. What is odd about the situation is that he will only perform on this disc and do the live tours, but not consider himself a full fledged member of the group due to other commitments. At any rate, I like Dan’s voice and he only helps make this record and music shine brighter. “The Charioteer” is a rather mid paced opener that occasionally whisks you away with the fast riffs. The vocal delivery is a culmination of crooning, high and low pitches well. The end result is something that may not be new, but stands on its own and there is also an impressive solo that will hold your attention for quite a while. The title track opens up with low tuned guitars and once you blend this with a cool atmosphere, slow yet steady and rhythmic beat and sing along lyrics, you have a winner. A faster paced composition that is true to the power metal form and galloping guitar licks proves to be solid and strong here with “Northern Rage.” The music lives up to the title and continues top delivery on all fronts. This is one of very few bands where they put out a record and each track just gets better and better. There is plenty of variety in terms of styles and speeds for everyone. Trust me, you won’t get bored. This isn’t over the top music that will steer you away. Everyone’s performance is played just right with no one overshadowing anyone else. Some may say that this is too simplified, but I will disagree because these compositions are played just right. I’ll be spinning this disc for a while. BY: Joe Florez

 

Lords Of Metal 8/10

Do you believe in coincidence? The moment I was listening to the new album of Crystal Eyes and writing this review about it, my head-editor send me a mail asking me if I was interested in an interview with this band (at this point I am rushing to the local Lotto-agent). This new album that is called 'Confessions Of The Maker' is my first contact with the music of Crystal Eyes. I can safely say that this first meet is a pleasure for me, what we have here is a great album full of heavy surprises. The story of Crystal Eyes begins in the beginning of the 90's when guitarist and songwriter Mikael Dahl and guitarist and songwriter Niclas Karlsson became a part of the local music scene in the town Borås in Sweden. Together they played in several bands mainly doing covers and stuff. It was not really their thing so in 1992 they created Crystal Eyes. With a few new members the band spends the next three years in playing a lot together and recording a demo. Then some cracks show in the stability of the band and founding member Niclas Karlsson leaves the band to proceed a career to a more aggressive and "modern" '90s-like direction. From there on the bands get a bit more stabile and since then they have recorded three full albums. In 1999 they released 'World Of Black Silver', in 2000 'In Silence They March' and in 2003 'Vengeance Descending'. One of the best things that happened in the last couple of years is when the band recruited singer Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) who now sings his first notes for the band on the new release. His powerful voice is for sure a great supplement to complete the full sound the bands serves us on their new album. The music, except for the vocal-style, reminds me a great deal to the Hammerfall music. It has the same structure and build as the style of the Hammerfallers. But the difference with this band is the sound of singer Daniel and of course the gimmicking Hammerfall has. At the end that would mean that Crystal Eyes would not make the big bucks Cans, Dronjak & associates are doing with their circus. Although I really dig this musical style, there will be only a select group of fans of this genre that are flashing their wallets to support a band like this. But for those that get this album, you will have a great time listing to killer-tracks like 'Northern Rage', 'Terminal Voyage' and 'Silent Angels' to name just a few. So all you Hammerfall fans go and check out Crystal Eyes, musically scary nearby the sound you love, vocal-wise very different but awesome too. BY: Eddy Meuwese

 

Maximum Metal 

Well, big changes in the Crystal Eyes camp! After releasing three masterful power metal records, this Swedish act have taken a huge step with their newest album "Confessions Of The Maker". Band main-man and lead vocalist Mikael Dahl has decided to step down from vocal duty this time around, making a grand entrance for former Lost Horizon singer Daniel Heiman. Many felt that Lost Horizon was power metal's future, but recently the band have had a major split, leaving Heiman with plenty of free time. At this point in time Heiman still refuses to be considered Crystal Eyes new vocalist, instead just simply "filling-in" here and recording a complete album with the band. Does it work? You better believe it! With this new record, Crystal Eyes have probably become the most melodic metal band of recent memory. The material on this record just seems to flow right off the disc, at times filled to the brink with the most adventurous of melodic hooks and catchy chops. The band razzle and dazzle with the most effective twin guitar, really at times showboating Iron Maiden right out of the arenas. The tracks found here are just simply epic, all completely wrapped up in a fast, up-tempo swing that still manages to keep a good dose of aggression to the band's sound and delivery. But Crystal Eyes are never a heavy band, and never bother showing a whole lot of anger or hatred here, but at times the band seems to be experimenting with that style. But for the most part most of the songs here are filled with positive influences, really bordering on the same patterns as modern day Helloween or Freedom Call. Really this is what Crystal Eyes needed the whole time. After releasing their best work to date in 2003 with "Vengeance Descending", I was left a little puzzled on where the band goes from here. Well obviously the group have focused that same sort of creative vision and taken it miles further than I would have ever given them credit for. "Confessions Of The Maker" is just simply brilliant from beginning to end, absolutely mesmerizing in it's sense of melody and direction, harnessing a power that few bands can even grasp yet alone wield. With Heiman on board as the group's frontman, the marriage just seems complete. This is the band that I knew they would become. BY: Eric Compton

 

Melodic Hard Rock Today 

I discovered Crystal Eyes for the first time on their last release, Vengeance Descending, and I was blown away by their songs! For the third time this year I choose a Swedish band for the album of the month, and Crystal Eyes has managed to climb a step further from their last release with Confessions Of The Maker. Crystal Eyes is a true Melodic Heavy Metal band with influences of Power Metal and Progressive Metal. There is something special about this band who I really can't explain, but there is no doubt about that they are eminent songwriters, musicians and producers. The guys in Crystal Eyes have chose to make their songs very easy to listen to with huge dynamic and performing skills from the whole band that will get you hooked immediately. The eleven songs are like eleven active volcanoes erupting in your face and the feel I get when I hear these songs is medicine for my soul. They deliver amazingly good written tracks on this album, full to the very brim with class, quality and atmosphere. It all opens with The Charioteer, a song who combines both speed and melody in a very nice way. The variation in the song is great built with different parts and they have a good taste in catching the exact right elements, something that gets the absolute attention from the listener. In my opinion you are never bored by listening to these songs which are very entertaining all the way with different elements, beautiful instrumentation and superb vocals from Daniel. The titletrack is a bit slower than the first song, more melodic metal oriented with an outstanding melody line and a chorus line that goes directly to you head. In some of the songs I sometimes get a feel of folk music and classical inspirations too with Celtic, Irish parts and choir, especially in some of the guitar solos and in the start of Northern Rage and The Fools Ballet. The seven minute long The Terror starts with beautiful balladlike singing from Daniel and great classical guitarplaying. It suddenly goes off into a power metal like tempo, but slows down at the verses and great chorus. With songs like this you will hear what I mean with variation in a song, with different tempos and instrumental parts who are just outstanding! Panic is a more straight forward power metal tune, while with White Wolves they have this combination that I like very good about the band, that switches between beautiful melodic parts over to more speedy parts and nice instrumental parts. The Burning Vision, Revolution In The Shadowland, Terminal Voyage and the ballad Silent Angel are together with the whole album just amazing listening from top till the end! Don`t let this release go by you, check it out immediately!! And don`t miss Crystal Eyes at Sweden Rock Festival this summer! BY: Arne Asbolmo

 

Metal Archives 76/100

I am not at all seasoned in the field of Sweden’s Crystal Eyes. The only instance of exposure to the band that I have under my belt is a solitary track from their 2003 release Vengeance Descending called “The Wizard’s Apprentice”. The sole reason said song was of interest to me was the fact that Lost Horizon frontman Daniel Heiman had been featured as a guest vocalist. The track was quite decent, but I guess not intriguing enough to garner any further attention to the band’s other works. So here we are a couple of years later, and I’ve come to find that Heiman has since left his previous outfit and is now the session vocalist on Crystal Eyes’ latest album, Confessions Of The Maker. I was both bummed and enthusiastic about the news. It was unfortunate that he was no longer in Lost Horizon (one of my personal favorites), yet knowing the extent of his talents, I was anxious to hear what he could achieve with this new undertaking. Much to my dismay, Confessions Of The Maker is not at all what I had expected, as Heiman’s performance on the disc is not a just representation of his capabilities. Being that Crystal Eyes is not nearly as epic as Lost Horizon, I can imagine he would have had to downplay his skill a bit to coincide with the band’s own ability, but I can’t help but feel like he took it too far. The album suffers because of this and falls short of living up to its full potential. It’s my understanding that chief songwriter and guitarist Mikael Dahl was previously the lead singer on the earlier Crystal Eyes recordings, and doesn’t possess the range that Heiman does. It was also rumored that Dahl composed the bulk of the vocal melodies. If this is in fact accurate, it makes total sense, as few of the songs actually sound as if Heiman played a part in any area of their creation. Acting as a session musician limits your freedom of input, and here it shows. If he had played a more significant role in the conception of Confessions Of The Maker, it would have been more of a success in my book. Well, that’s not the case and we can only hope that Mikael Dahl will learn from this experience and in the future allow more participation by all members, especially when speaking of someone as godly as Daniel Heiman. Despite my disappointment in the vocal department, Confessions Of The Maker is a very inviting effort. A conceptual album, each song is well written and teeming with memorable music. Nothing completely out of this world in the musicianship, but impressive none the less. Being that the band performs a pretty general style, I honestly don’t believe that a lengthy narrative is essential when describing them. This time around I am just gonna cut to the chase. Simply put, the latest Crystal Eyes release is bound to be satisfying to most power metal fans, above all, those whom glorify the likes of Angel Dust, Falconer, Nocturnal Rites, and Edguy… and that’s all she wrote! BY: HarleyAtMetalReview

 

Metal Bullet 83/100

Cuando escuché este 4 trabajo de los suecos Crystal Eyes me dio la sensación de estar frente a una banda muy influenciada por Maiden, Helloween o Running Wild, simplemente porque Crystal Eyes son un grupo fuertemente influenciado por bandas de metal clásico europeas. A parte cuentan con un gran guitarrista llamado Mikael Dahl, una especie de Wolf Hoffman sueco y la participación de Daniel Helman ex Lost Horizon a la voz y que cuando escribo esta critica ya a sido sustituido por Soren Nico Adamsen que proviene de la banda danesa Starrats. Si se trata de buscar bandas que suenen modernas pero que a la vez suenen tradicionales, Crystal Eyes se presenta potencialmente como una de las sensaciones musicales de los próximos años. Confessions of the Maker respira buenas maneras por los cuatro costados, mantiene en esencia ese sonido de bandas clásicas de los años 80 pero juega claramente con el Power Metal en su zona más melódica. Con todo Confession of the Marker resulta una obra compacta, donde los coros cobran una vital importancia para dar sentido a las composiciones. ¿Que seria el Power Metal sin unos buenos coros? Los primeros compases de The Charioteer marcaran el camino a seguir durante el resto del disco y harán que las influencias de las que antes os he hablado vuelen sobre vuestras cabezas. La verdad es que hay canciones que tienen bastante gancho (The Fools' Ballet o White Wolves), las melodías sencillas de guitarra, las pequeñas intros de teclado y la forma en cómo Daniel Heiman encara las canciones con las ganas que ya demostró en Lost Horizon son aspectos que consiguen que temas como The Terror o Terminal Voyage se adivinen bastante pegadizos y accesibles para gente poco curtidas en esto del Power Metal. Muchos les calificara de comerciales pero al fin del cuentas si el disco es interesante no debe de importar. Confessions of the Marker es buen disco el que nos trae este quinteto sueco, que se hará pesado si no eres fan del estilo que practica Crystal Eyes y si buscas algo realmente cañero y duro. Pero si buscas un disco variado, dentro del Power Metal, y con algunas canciones de calidad este disco no te defraudara. BY: José Calafi

 

Metal Covenant 7/10

Crystal Eyes probably did the best recruiting of a member that was done year. With Daniel Heiman from Lost Horizon they climb several steps. He was intentionally only to do two songs but as it turned out he did all but one song on Crystal Eyes' fourth album Confessions Of The Maker. Mikael Dahl that decided to step down from the microphone in favour of their new vocalist takes care of the last one, the ballad Silent Angel. Something that immediatly strikes me is that there are so much better songs on this one. The songwriting has taken a great leap forward just as the performance from the guys as they have pushed themselves to the maximum to be able to match the superior voice from Daniel. With the guitars in front of the music, Crystal Eyes create catchy melodies and not seldom with the speed of power metal but also some really heavy flirting with the eighties and acts like Iron Maiden, Accept, Running Wild and Judas Priest. The solos and harmonies make it hard for the guys to hide the fact that their influences must have made a major impact on them, and I must say that it is with the honour they are doing all this flirting. Even though Daniel Heiman hasn't contributed to the songwriting, since that part is mostly taken care of by Mikael Dahl, the band has come closer to the sound of Lost Horizon, but it is obviously the vocals that makes the biggest likeness. Crystal Eyes also has much in common with another contemporary act like Hammerfall, and that is not least with the riffing that supports the title track Confessions Of The Maker, a mid-tempo track that has a hymn-like chorus and an Iron Maiden-like solo part, and do I sense a sing-along moment when it comes to performing live there? Another track that ought to work very well live is Northern Rage, which is much reminiscent of the groove and tempo of late eighties Running Wild, but when Crystal Eyes are at their best is with the faster songs. When they bring out the most of the power metal in them with songs like with the fast and catchy opener The Charioteer, or tracks like Panic and Revolution In The Shadowland. Heiman sings great as always, but it feels as if he is holding back, like the key they are playing is one too low for his voice, nevertheless he has one hell of a set of pipes and his entrance in Crystal Eyes has made them better in more ways than just with the vocals. BY: Thomas Herpel

 

Metal Guardian 96/100

I remember it well, only a young boy I was when I walked out of this cd store, proud as was.. I had gotten it, finally after searching numerous catalogs (the internet was still young also). I was only 17 when I had my copy of World of Black and Silver in my hands. From that day on I’ve been a Crystal Eyes fan, I can’t help it, the songs make me happy, they make me proud to be a metalhead. It gives me this certain feeling, you probably know what I mean, just think of one of the first bands you’ve discovered on your own while being a young metaller. It was the voice of Mikael Dahl and the heavy twin guitaring that did the trick for me, so I was surprised to hear that Mikael would fully focus on playing guitar and that they had found a new singer. My mind was at rest again when I found out the new man behind the mic was no one less than Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon). Well enough of the old sentimental stuff, lets proceed to this album. Confessions of the Maker is still your typical Crystal Eyes album. Fast heavy metal songs no virtuoso keyboard solo’s or any of the fancy choir stuff. Pure straight in your face metal!! The songs still put a smile on my face especially when I hear Dahls voice in the background, great stuff. First song on the album “The Charioteer” is a great opener catchy chorus and once again nifty twin guitaring. Hell pretty much all songs have catchy chorus’s thats what makes the songs fun to listen to. Heiman’s voice is great on this album, raw, slow, high and higher he can pretty much do it all. And for those who don’t know what Mikael Dahl sounds like, turn on “Silent Angel” and find out. This ballad is being sung by mr. Crystal Eyes himself. Great songs like “White Wolves” and “Revolution in the Shadowland” make this album perhaps my favorite Crystal Eyes album so far although nothing can compare to the feeling from World of Black and Silver. For those who want to check out the first two Crystal Eyes albums, World of Black and Silver and In Silence they March there’s good news, new record label Heavy Fidelity has purchased all the rights for both albums, and will re-release them as how they were impossible to get due to the fact they were simply sold out! Final note, this band has evolved but they managed to stay true to their own sound and style, I for one love this album and can spot a "crystal eyes-riff" from a mile away. BY: Michael Konings

 

Metal Hammer Spain 

Este año irán al festival Sweden Rock 2005 con todos los honores. Crystal Eyes es una banda sueca que ya va por su cuarto álbum y que nos presenta en este disco a su nuevo vocalista Daniel Helman (ex Lost Horizon), que le ha dado una nueva proyección al grupo que se ha visto aún mejorada por la masterización en los Bohus Studios de Evergrey (ya conocidos ampliamente por esta revista, pues estuvimos allí con la banda cuando grabó su último álbum de estudio) y el diseño de portada de Mattias Norén. El registro de Helman más a lo Timo Kotipelto (en comparación con el del anterior Mikael Dahl) hace que Crystal Eyes hayan evolucionado hacia un sonido más hard rockero y mayoritario mediante temas como “Confessions Of The Maker” o la piratera “Northern Rage”, pese a no perder en ningún momento su vitalidad y actitud metalera de su carrera hasta la fecha (incluso con algún detalle a lo Running Wild). De hecho, Daniel Helman ya había colaborado con la banda en el tema “The Wizard’s Apprentice” de su álbum “Vengeance Descending”. Completan la banda Mikael Dahl que ahora sólo se ocupa de las guitarras, Jonathan Nyberg guitarras, Claes Wikander bajo y Stefan Svantesson batería. Cierto que en estribillos como el de “The Fool’s Ballet” te sonarán a Helloween con Kiske descarados, pero el estigma sueco también se deja sentir en otros cortes a lo “White Wolves”, con un excelente trabajo guitarrero de Dahl y Nyberg. En línea ascendente! BY: 

 

Metal Inside 

„Confessions Of The Maker“ ist das vierte Album der Schweden CRYSTAL EYES, die hier lupenreinen Metal der melodiösen Art bieten, der grundsolide geschmiedet worden ist und sicherlich zu dn bsetn Vertretern seiner Zunft zählt. Geschickt schafft es die Band Accept Riffs mit schönen Melodien, wie zum Beispiel bei „The Fools“ Ballet zu kombinieren, ohne gänzlich nach Hammerfall zu klingen…Richtig gehört, irgendwie sind schon die Parallelen zu Schwedens Über- True Band zu erkennen. Gott sei Dank halten sich diese Links im Rahmen, was sicherlich auch daran liegt, dass CRYSTAL EYES eine ganze Ecke softer und weniger kantig daherkommen, als Oscar und seine Mitstreiter, was sich an einem Track wie „Panic“ ganz gut festmachen lässt. Als Anspieltipps seien interessierten Melodic Metal Fans das schon erwähnte „The Fools’ Ballet“, das stampfende „White Wolves“, das etwas flottere „Revolution In The Shadowland“ und der coole Titeltrack an Herz gelegt, die zeigen, dass es sich hier um eine hörenswerte Platte handelt, auch wenn nicht alles Gold ist, was glänzt. BY: Lars Knackstedt

 

Metal Made 8/10

CRYSTAL EYES är tillbaka, och det har hänt lite sedan förra skivan (Vengeance Descending, 2003) släpptes. Mikael Dahl, som tidigare stod för både sång och gitarr, har lämnat över mikrofonen till ingen mindre än Daniel Heiman (ex-LOST HORIZON). Nu finns förstås risken att detta kommer upplevas som ett andra LOST HORIZON, men själv har jag svårt att tycka det. CRYSTAL EYES styrka, enligt mig, sitter i lekfullheten, och sådant får vi höra mycket av här. Samtidigt har plattan sina mer allvarliga stunder, exempelvis i 7 minuter långa "The Terror". Förutom den så har jag fastnat lite extra för "The Charioteer", "White Wolves" och titelspåret. Jämfört med tidigare verk så känns Confessions Of The Maker som en mer jämn historia än tidigare. Givetvis ligger skillnaden mycket i Heimans sånginsatser, men jag tycker även att melodierna känns starkare än någonsin. På sista låten, den vackra balladen "Silent Angel", får vi åter bekanta oss med Dahls sång, och jag blir lite rörd då jag gillat hans sång på de gamla skivorna. Sammanfattningsvis kan jag varmt rekommendera skivan till alla som gillar gladare melodisk hårdrock. Tyvärr kommer vi troligen aldrig mer få höra Heiman i CRYSTAL EYES igen, då denne valt att koncentrera sig på egna bandet HEED. CRYSTAL EYES står i skrivande stund utan sångare, och letar efter en ny. BY: Hiro

 

Metal March 8/10

Crystal Eyes are one of the bands that impressed me the most last year, their album "Vengeance Descending" is without a doubt on my top 3 best albums I've listened during 2004, although it was released in 2003, I only got it a year later. And I can't really say Heavy Metal is one of my favourite music styles, but the songs of this Swedish band was so damn catchy and addictive that I couldn't help myself, so I just kept on listening and listening, and never get bored! Not long after that I heard news about a new album, and while I couldn't wait for it, I was at the same time still enjoying their previous work. In fact, I was trying to find their other previous albums... but in the meantime there are good news in this subject because there are plans for their re-release. One of the great things about Crystal Eyes (besides their music skills) are their lyrics, very fantasy and science-fiction like, but also related with everyday life reflections. But I won't spoil it for you, just read and find out all about that for yourself. Anyway, their new work is entitled "Confessions of the Maker". First thing to notice was the cover, I was never a big fan of their previous one, but this one is much more inspired and appealing. Their music style hasn't really changed, which is good. Still straight forward Heavy Metal with lots of influences from the 80's, very catchy and melodic at the same time. I can't help but comparing both albums of this band, which is a natural thing because their latest work got top score in my book. "Confessions of the Maker" is not as good as its predecessor, but I wasn't expecting it to be so anyway. It's still a very good follow up, nice songs with some of the same features that got them a perfect score in my other review. As for the highlights of this album, I came up with four or five songs that should be a great way to get to know this band a little better. Nonetheless, "White Wolves" and "Silent Angel" are definitely my favourites here, so starting with these two would be a smart move. If you were already a fan of "Vengeance Descending", then chances are that you already own the new album. But on the other hand, if you just got to know them and you really liked what you heard here, then get the other one as well, you won't regret it! But lets not miss the point here, which is "Confessions of the Maker". Another great work from the band, what else can I say? Keep it up! BY: Pedro Santos

 

Metal Only 

Svenska
I och med Vengeance Decending (2003) tände CRYSTAL EYES en gnista inom mig att något stort skulle kunna komma från gruppen i framtiden. Skivan uppskattades men hamnade trots det lite i skymundan. Nu är mina misstankar och önskningar besannade och Confessions Of The Maker kan helt enkelt inte ses som en skiva i mängden. Den stora skillnaden mellan föregångaren och detta recensionsobjekt heter DANIEL HEIMAN. Jag ska försöka att korta ner mina tankar kring Daniels rös, efter ett par A4 sidor med superlativ så skulle ni tröttna. Daniel anses av mig och många andra vara en av världens främsta sångare, han har ett sjukt brett register och sjunger med en variation och känsla som är ytterst få förunnat. Till en början var det meningen att Daniel skulle medverka på ett par av skivans låtar, men när han lämnade LOST HORIZON bakom sig erbjöds han att sjunga på hela skivan och följa med gruppen på turné, så blev det men han är däremot inte fast medlem i CRYSTAL EYES. Gruppen står fast vid sin utstakade väg, fortfarande är den engelska och tyska hårdrockscenen de största inspirationskällorna. I mångt och mycket gäller det även texterna, fantasy tema är ett stående inslag i gruppens repertoar. Två av texterna har Vikinga tema och ett flertal har tagit sin utgångspunkt i en djupare och mörkare syn på livet. Detta skapar en god variation och en näve klockrena heavy metal låtar som tack vare Daniel Heimans insatser når oanade höjder efter ett par genomlyssningar. Höjdpunkter är inledande ”The Charioteer”, det något tyngre titelspåret och snabba ”Revolution In The Shadowland. Oavsett om framtiden för Daniel kanske inte finns hos CRYSTAL EYES så hoppas jag verkligen att vi får höra mer från honom på ett eller annat sätt i framtiden, hans röst är otroligt viktig för hårdrocks-scenen, både i Sverige och runt om i världen. För CRYSTAL EYES är detta ett stort steg i rätt riktning och bra har blivit bättre. Gnistan tändes för två år sedan och i och med denna platta har den tagit fyr och lågan är tänd. Jag kungör härmed att jag; Peter Andersson, med stort intresse kommer att följa gruppen i framtiden för detta är bra, mycket bra!

English
With Vengeance Decending (2003) CRYSTAL EYES lightened a spark inside me that something big maybe was going to come out from the group in the future. The record was appreciated but was in some way put aside. Now has my suspicions and wishes come true and Confessions Of The Maker cannot be looked at as a record among others. The big different between the last record and this review object is called DANIEL HEIMAN. I will try to use as few words as possible about my thoughts about his voice. I believe that you after 2-3 pages of superlatives would be quite tired of them. Daniel is seen by many as one of the world’s greatest vocalists. He has an incredible voice in a huge variety and sings with a feeling that’s given to very few. In the beginning of the recording process was the plan that Daniel was going to sing a couple of the songs, but when he had leave LOST HORIZON behind him, he was asked to handle the vocals on the whole album and join the group on tour. He said yes, but is not a permanent member of CRYSTAL EYES. The group is still going strong on the same road as before, with the British and German metal scene as inspiration. Same stands for the lyrics. The fantasy theme is a standing element in their repertoire; they also have two songs with a Viking-theme and a couple of songs with deeper and darker lyrics with inspiration from life itself. This creates a good variation and a bunch of knockout heavy metal songs that thanks to Daniel Heiman’s voice reaches unforeseen heights after a couple of times in the CD player. Highlights are the opening song “The Charioteer”, the heavier title track and the fast “Revolution In The Shadowland. Even if the feature for Daniel isn’t is in CRYSTAL EYES I really hopes that we will be blessed to hear more from him in the future, his voice is incredible important for the metal scene, both in Sweden and worldwide. This is a huge step forward for CRYSTAL EYES, and good has become much better. The spark was lightened two years ago and through out this album is it sat into fire. I will from now on proclaim that I, Peter Andersson, with huge interest will follow the group in the future for this is good, really good! BY: Peter Andersson

 

Metal Temple 3.5/5

Crystal Eyes was one of those bands that I had heard a lot about, but never actually heard. The only previous knowledge I had about them was that they are a Power / Classic Metal band. Then when I received the album, the cover art made it look like a Death Metal band or something, and I was thinking "is this the same Crystal Eyes I had in mind?". Luckily, for my Death Metal hating ass, it was a Power / Classic Metal album. Crystal Eyes formed in 1992 originally thanks to Mikael Dahl and ex-member Nicolas Karlsson. They then recorded their first demo, "Crystal Eyes", in 1994. They would go through various lineup changes and make 4 more demos before getting the attention of the Crazy Life label in 1998 and released "World Of Black And Silver". Following that they would release "In Silence They March" in 2000 and "Vengeance Descending" in 2002. For their latest release, "Confessions Of The Maker", they recruited Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) to do the lead vocals because Mikael decided that it was time for a change rather than him doing all the lead vocals. Upon the first listen I was very pleased with what I was hearing. The press release that came with the album said influences were Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Frankly, I don’t really hear the Sabbath influence, but to say the least Priest is definitely prevalent. Call me a sucker for Vikings and such subject matter, but the songs that are favorite are "Northern Rage" and "The Charioteer". I just really dig that subject matter quite a bit. The album overall has been very well produced, and sounds fantastic. Though I think they need to make up their mind about singers because Daniel is only singing on this album. I really don’t like it when bands change singers constantly because I think that bands need to be together a while to really get the best out of each other, but maybe it’s just me. Anyway, if you dig Power / Classic Metal I would suggest picking up this record. BY: Ian Kaatz

 

Metal Vox 9/10

Pourtugese
Após dois anos passados do seu último lançamento Vengeance Descending, a banda Crystal Eyes retorna revigorada. O título do seu novo álbum é Confessions Of The Maker, e vem cheio de novidades a começar pelo novo vocalista Daniel Heiman que foi convidado por Mikael Dahl a juntar-se a banda, seu vocal mais agressivo deu uma revigorada na banda. O som do Crystal Eyes está cada vez mais Heavy Metal, a banda ganhou mais peso com a dose certa de melodia, a primeira faixa é The Charioteer fala sobre a mitologia nórdica, o Deus do trovão Thor e sobre os acontecimentos do Ragnarok que foi inspirado no antigo Edda. È uma faixa muito boa, mas a cada música tocada o disco vai ficando cada vez melhor, Confessions Of The Maker música título do disco tem uma visão mais obscura da vida, a sonoridade do bom e velho Heavy Metal tradicional. A faixa seguinte Northern Rage uma ótima música, fala sobre a raiva nórdica e as suas conseqüências, tudo que os Vikings eram capazes de fazer. A musica é bastante energética e rápida, a combinação perfeita entre contexto lírico e sonoridade. The Terror é mais uma obra de arte, após alguns acordes de violão o vocalista Daniel libera um agudo impressionante, então o que se ouve é um Heavy Metal sombrio e pesado, o baixo está com um timbre excelente nesta faixa, o mais interessante de se observar são as viradas instrumentais rápidas, para que o refrão entre sem atrasos, além das quedas repentinas onde quando menos se espera todo os instrumentos param com exceção do violão, a música é perfeita, além de ser a maior do disco. As próximas faixas se tornam mais rápidas, a começar pela Panic que segue a mesma temática lírica de Confessions Of The Maker, ou seja, mantém as visões mórbidas e obscuras da vida. White Wolves é bem legal, tem uma pegada Hard Rock, a letra desta música tem como base num mundo de fantasia. Para encerrar o disco a faixa Silent Angel é ótima, Mikael canta esta música. O vocal de Mikael me chamou a atenção, pois também se nota diferença desde o álbum anterior Vengeance Descending onde seus vocais em determinados momentos eram enjoativos, seu vocal mudou e melhorou consideravelmente. Em resumo um disco excelente, de produção cristalina, o designer gráfico está muito bom. O melhor a se fazer é adquirir logo o seu!

English
After two years since their last release, Vengeance Descending, the Crystal Eyes band returns more strong. Their new job is called Confessions Of The Maker, and it has a lot of news. The first is a new vocalist, Daniel Heiman, invited by Mikael Dahl to join the group. His more aggressive voice combined very well with the band’s sound. The Crystal Eyes’s sound is more Heavy Metal, the band won more power and melody, the first track, The Charioteer, talks about Nordic mythology, Thor, the God of Thunder and all things among Ragnarok. It’s a great track but the others are better. The title track is an obscure vision of the life, very traditional sound. The next, Northern Rage, is a great song and talks about angry of the Vikings and their consequences. This opus is very energetic and fast, a perfect combination between lyric and music. The Terror is a masterpiece, some acoustic pieces and the Singer Daniel reaches high notes very well, the bass is fantastic on this track! The most interesting is the complex instrumental parts. This is the biggest song on the record. The following tracks becomes more fast. Panic is almost the same line from the Confessions Of The Maker song, more dark. White Wolves is very well, more Hard Rock, the lyrics talks about fantasy. To finish the record, Silent Angel, and Mikael sings this song. His voice is more different than the other Crystal Eyes’s albums, now it’s better! A great opus, great production stuff, graphic design and the best: great music! BY: Jaime Amorim

 

Metalcentral 7/10

I postorderfirmornas paradis nummer ett - Borås - har Power/Heavy Metal-konstellationen Crystal Eyes sitt högsäte. Härifrån har hjärnan bakom bandet Mikael Dahl (fd-sång, gitarr) och hans hårdrockspolare knåpat och harvat metaldängor (under nämnda gruppnamn) sedan våren 1992. Idag har de fyra demos och fyra fullängdare (nya albumet medräknat) på sitt samvete men det stora genombrottet har bittert lyst med sin frånvaro. Främst lär det bero på att gruppen varit offer för bristande marknadsföring, men också all kritik mot Dahls medelmåttiga sångresurser (hur många gånger har han fått hört det tro?) och stämpeln som lite väl tralliga och kliché har nog också bidragit. Och för all del, denna kritik är väl mer eller mindre befogad. Speciellt gäller detta de två första alstren ”World of Black and Silver” (1999) och ”In Silence They March” (2000), som kanske inte direkt är dåliga men som kan liknas med att kolla på ett avsnitt med Bumbibjörnarna - barnsligt, men hyfsat underhållande och lite småtrevligt. Dessutom är produktion och nämnda sånginsats ganska medioker på dessa utgåvor. Med tredje skivan ”Vengeance Decending” (2003) tog gruppen ett stapplande steg framåt i form av bättre produktion och något bättre låtar, men det är först i och med nya skivan ”Confessions of the Maker” som de som band faktiskt tagit klivet från tonårens glada och naiva dagar till metallens vuxenvärld. Denna gång uppvisas ett betydligt mognare, men framför allt starkare låtmaterial än tidigare. Fortfarande handlar det givetvis om catchy Power/Heavy Metal med framträdande sing-along-refränger, men då låtrepertoaren numera nästan uteslutande är i mid-tempo blir det samtidigt något tyngre och mer nyanserat. Vi får heller inte glömma den största nyheten av dem alla inför detta släpp - att Micke Dahl har lämnat över micken till forne Lost Horizon-sångaren och polaren Daniel Heiman. Detta lär inte minska intresset för skivan precis. Utan tvekan besitter detta sånggeni en av Sveriges bästa (power) metal röster. Få sångare har sådan dynamik och känsla i rösten och när han går upp i hög falsett som under några korta stunder i till exempel ”The Terror” och ”Terminal Voyage” blir det ståpäls direkt. I låtar som inledande ”The Charioteer” och efterföljande titelspåret ”Confessions of the Maker” får vi dessutom två tydliga exempel på hur lyckad interaktionen blivit mellan orkesterns nya strupe och övriga medlemmars betydligt mognare komponerande. Nämnda låtar hör otvivelaktigt till bandets absolut finaste stunder och står sig bra i jämförelse med likartade bands ädlare kompositioner. Resterade material bjuder därefter mestadels på fullt godkända och relativt minnesvärda skapelser. Men, berömmet till trots, så känns det fortfarande som Boråsherrarna har ytterligare en bit att vandra för att nå upp till absolut elitnivå. Personligen skulle jag bland annat önska ännu mer stake och tyngd i materialet – men man kan inte få allt på en gång! Dessutom kan jag inte hjälpa att jag fortfarande upplever vissa refränger som lite väl påklistrade och fånigt tralliga. Men - sanningen är dock den - att Crystal Eyes gör sig allt mer förtjänt av ett genombrott och kanske kommer det redan i och med denna skiva. Vad vet jag? BY: Erik Arvidsson

 

Metalheart 7/10

Borås-ligan Crystal Eyes har i ett nafs avancerat från hobbymusikernas ljumma stamlokus till noblessens vräkiga salonger. Omvälvningen är helt och hållet strupdemonen Daniel Heimans förtjänst. Inte för att förringa och misskreditera den kamp Mikael Dahl och kompani fört i det förflutna, men den bittra sanningen är, och har alltid varit, att de med ovan nämnda placerad bakom mickstativet varit ett tämligen egalt företag i de flestas ögon. Krasst kan tyckas, och visst är det så, men låt oss nu glädjas åt kvintettens välgångar istället. Nyförvärvet Daniel, tidigare i Lost Horizon, botaniserar, sin vana trogen, i toner som knappt överste Kai Hansen når med sin falsettpalett. Och min vana trogen faller jag pladask för detta magiska sångtrolleri. Killen är fan i mig inte mänsklig! Låtarna är knappast fy skam de heller. ”The charioteer”, ”Northern rage” och ”Panic” är alla starka och vitala nog att duellera mot genrens högsta drotter. Faktiskt! Titelspåret, ”Confessions of the maker”, är även det ett aptitligt opus som rätt oförsynt plankar det skitfräcka riffet i Savatages ”Morphine child”. Undertecknad har överseende med det. Det är trots allt ett förjäkla groovigt riff! Nu är det alla positivt klingande ord till trots inget OS-maraton i framsteg och uppryckningar. Nej, spår som ”The burning vision”, ”Terminal voyage” och den avslutande ”Silent angel” där den forne vokalisten – numer gitarrist på heltid – Mikael Dahl levererar några smäktande vokaler, känns lagom friskfläktande och fräscha. Således: skavanker finns fortfarande. Som helhet bandets proffsigaste studioprodukt till dags dato. Starka låtar kunde vi finna på plattor som World Of Black And Silver och In Silence They March också, men nu osar det kvalitet rakt igenom; sång, produktion och låtmaterial. Crystal Eyes har minsann framtiden för sig! BY: David Noaksson

 

Metalius 8/10

Zugegeben, die überschwängliche Lobeshymne, mit der ich das letzte CRYSTAL EYES-Album „Vengeance descending“ bedacht habe, war vielleicht ein bisschen übertrieben. Aber nur ein bisschen! Geärgert habe ich mich damals und ärgere ich mich immer noch, dass die großen Szeneblätter das Album als 08/15-Melodic Power Metal-Massenware beiseite schoben. Selbstverständlich ist das, was Mastermind Mikael Dahl & Co. machen, nicht besonders innovativ, gerade Querverweise zu mighty Hammerfall sind nicht zu leugnen. Doch sie machen ihre Sache halt meiner Meinung nach verdammt gut und gehören in Sachen Songwriting und Zuckermelodien zum Besten, was das Genre zu bieten hat. Inzwischen gibt es ein neues Crystal Eyes-Album zu erwerben, „Confessions of the maker“ heißt das gute Stück. Anfangs hatte ich es ja nicht ganz so leicht mit dieser CD. Grundsätzlich hat sich an der Musik der Band (glücklicherweise!) nicht viel geändert, an den Feinheiten wurde aber doch etwas gedreht. Das Wichtigste gleich vorneweg: Für die Vocals ist inzwischen Daniel Heiman zuständig, von dem spätestens seit dem letzten Lost Horizon-Album bekannt sein sollte, dass er ein Meister seines Fachs ist. Und auch auf „Confessions...“ hat er einen astreinen Job abgeliefert. Die tolle Gitarrenarbeit des Duos Nyberg/Dahl ist so charakteristisch, gefühlvoll und flüssig wie eh und je. Kaum eine Melodic Metal-Band kriegt so einen angenehmen Gitarrensound hin. Was dem Album fehlt, sind die ganz großen, Gänsehaut erzeugenden Killer-Melodien und -Hooks mit Widerhaken-Wirkung, die „Vengeance descending“ so besonders machten. Zumindest empfand ich das bei den ersten Durchläufen so. Bedächtige, fast schon nachdenkliche Songs wie „The terror“ wollten nicht recht zu meiner Erwartungshaltung passen. Inzwischen habe ich mir „Confessions...“, mit dem Textblatt bewaffnet, einige weitere Male ganz in Ruhe zu Gemüte geführt und kann berichten, dass das aktuelle Material tatsächlich einfach eine etwas längere Beschäftigung und Reifezeit benötigt. Dann entfalten auch die neuen Songs ihre ganze Schönheit. Okay, diesmal ist die Trefferquote nicht so Schwindel erregend hoch und die wirklich ganz großen Momente sind eher dünn gesät. Dennoch ist Crystal Eyes erneut ein überaus packendes und mitreißendes Melodic Metal-Album gelungen, das ich mir bestimmt noch öfter aus dem Regal holen werde. Lasst Euch weder von den Mainstream-Printmedien noch von unseren geschätzten Kollegen von Powermetal.de einen Bären aufbinden, diese Band ist großartig und wichtig und wird uns hoffentlich noch mit vielen weiteren CDs beglücken! Unterm Strich ist mir „Vengeance descendung“ mit seinen Funken sprühenden Über-Hymnen eine Ecke lieber (etwas relativiert und heute Trotz-bereinigt 8,75 Punkte), für „Confessions...“ habe ich allerdings immer noch megafette, felsenfeste 8 Zähler übrig. Check this one out, my friends!!! BY: Martin van der Laan

 

Metalspheres 

Yeah, das schmeckt gar wunderbar! Mikael Dahl hat einmal mehr ein wunderbares Gemisch aus Power, Melodie, Bombast und Eingängigkeit geschaffen, welches den Nerv des geneigten Power Metal-Fans schneller trifft, als Wilhelm Tell seinem Sohn den Apfel vom Metalhead schießen konnte. Crystal Eyes' viertes Album enthält eine ganze Reige geiler Songs, welche zum bedingungslosen Posen und Bangen einladen. Sei es der schmissige Opener "The Charioteer", der melodische Speedknaller "Revolution in the Shadowlands", der melodiöse Midtemporocker "The fools' Ballet" oder mein persönlicher Favorit, das mit wundervollen Gitarrenharmonien versehene "Northern Rage" (ob das der Thunder Axe weiß?) – auf "Confessions of the maker" muß man das Füllmaterial schon mit der Lupe suchen. Wie immer brillieren Crystal Eyes mit guten Noten an ihren Instrumenten, und erstmals gab Meister Dahl sich neben dem Songwriting mit der Rolle des Gitarristen zufrieden, das Album wurde durch die Stimme von Ex-Lost Horizon-Fronter Daniel Heiman veredelt, welcher bereits auf der letzten Scheibe einen kurzen Gastauftritt beisteuern durfte. Alles in allem ist Crystal Eyes erneut ein empfehlenswertes Album gelungen, welches Fans des melodiösen Power Metals garantiert zufriedenstellen wird. Selbstverständlich findet hier niemand eine neue musikalische Revolution oder auch nur ein bißchen Originalität, aber das hat mich nicht gestört, so oft ich diese CD auch eingelegt habe. Also los, anchecken, zufrieden grinsen, kaufen! BY: Till Oberboßel

 

Mindview 5/7

Ahh, waar is de tijd van goeie ouwe heavy metal met af een toe een goeie scheut melodie of symfonie! Dat is wat deze Crystal Eyes gedacht moeten hebben bij het maken van dit album. De zang is bij momenten uitmuntend en de gitaren doen je nekspieren lekker loskomen. De onderwerpen lopen nogal uiteen maar zijn soms ook wel cliché, wat niet noodzakelijk een nadeel is. Spijtig is wel dat de cd na de helft zichzelf een beetje begint te herhalen. Iets meer afwisseling in de nummers had van deze cd een prijsbeest kunnen maken. Nu is dat nét iets minder. BY: Zilver

 

Music Extreme 

Pure melodic heavy metal with intense compositions that are in the epic vein. This guys have taken the best of eighties and nineties metal and have put them together into their own style. The main thing here are the guitars that deliver good riffs in a relly powerful way. The vocals are essential here because they create incredible harmonies and melodies (the way the vocal harmonies are done gives Crystal Eyes a definite european feeling. And the vocals are extremely memorable (you will find yourself singing the choruses along the music). Here we have also a really solid rhythm section. The use of clean guitars is a wellcome feature here too adding some calm moments before the band continues creating their majestic music (as an example you can listen the title track, a sure hit in the heavy metal world). I have to remark the incredibly good sound that this band have achieved with the help of Andy La Rocque inw hose studio they have recorded this album. Pure metal with memorable ideas! BY: Federico Marongiu

 

Paradise Metal 9/10

Após dois anos passados do seu último lançamento Vengeance Descending, a banda Crystal Eyes retorna revigorada. O título do seu novo álbum é Confessions Of The Maker, e vem cheio de novidades a começar pelo novo vocalista Daniel Heiman que foi convidado por Mikael Dahl a juntar-se à banda e o fato dos dois já se conhecerem de tempos facilitou bastante este acontecimento, que com seus vocais mais agressivos deu uma face nova à banda. O som do Crystal Eyes está cada vez mais Heavy Metal, a banda ganhou mais peso com a dose certa de melodia, a primeira faixa é The Charioteer fala sobre a mitologia nórdica, o Deus trovão Thor e sobre os acontecimentos do Ragnarok que foi inspirado no antigo Edda. É uma faixa muito boa, mas a cada música passada o disco vai ficando cada vez melhor; Confessions Of The Maker música título do disco tem uma visão mais obscura da vida, a sonoridade do bom e velho Heavy Metal tradicional. A faixa seguinte Northern Rage uma ótima música, fala sobre a raiva nórdica e as suas conseqüências, tudo que os Vikings eram capazes de fazer. A musica é bastante energética e rápida, a combinação perfeita entre contexto lírico e sonoridade apresentada. [i“The Terror[/i] é mais uma obra de arte, após alguns acordes de violão o vocalista Daniel libera um agudo impressionante, então o que se ouve é um Heavy Metal sombrio e pesado, o baixo está com uma acentuação excelente nesta faixa, o mais interessante de se observar são as viradas instrumentais rápidas, para que o refrão entre sem atrasos, além das quedas repentinas onde quando menos se espera todo os instrumentos param com exceção do violão, a música é perfeita, além de ser a maior do disco com mais de sete minutos. As próximas faixas se tornam mais rápidas, a começar por Panic que segue a mesma temática lírica de Confessions Of The Maker, ou seja mantém as visões mórbidas e obscuras da vida. White Wolves é bem legal, tem uma pega Hard Rock, a letra desta música tem como base um mundo de fantasia. Para encerrar o disco a faixa Silent Angel é ótima, Mikael canta esta música. O vocal de Mikael me chamou a atenção, pois também se nota diferença desde o álbum anterior Vengeance Descending onde seus vocais em determinados momentos eram enjoativos, seu vocal mudou e melhorou consideravelmente. Em resumo um disco excelente, de produção cristalina, o designer gráfico está muito bom. O melhor a se fazer é adquirir logo o seu! BY: Rosberg Lima

 

Planet Heavy 8,5/10

Cuarto álbum de esta banda sueca, en la que ha habido transformaciones importantes, ya que ha incorporado al cantante de Lost Horizont, Daniel Helman a la banda, y Mikael Dahl, cantante y guitarrista, se va a dedicar solo a tocar. El cambio es notorio, ya que la voz de Daniel es espectacular, y el salto de calidad que ha dado esta banda es bastante notable. En el podemos encontrar canciones de buen power metal, aderezadas con la gran voz de Daniel. Destacamos “The Chariotter” que abre el disco, una canción típica del estilo, “Conffesions Of The Maker” es una canción más densa, con un ritmo más lento, pero con un estribillo pegadizo. “Northern Rage”, comienza con un suave teclado y da paso a un ritmo trepidante, sin duda de lo mejor del disco, de lo mejor del llamado metal teutón. “The Fool's Ballet”, es un himno total, “The Terror”, Daniel demuestra de lo que es capaz, empezando por tonos más suaves, y desplegando todo su poderío, un tema genial, de más de 7 minutos. “Panic“Panic” empieza con un grito espectacular y un ritmo trepidante, magnífico tema. “White Wolves” es un tema en el que Daniel desdobla su voz, una potente y otra aguda, un tema con un ritmo interesante.“The Burning Vision”, es intensa, con un estribillo fantástico.“Revolution In The Shadowland”, es de las más Heavy's. “Silent Angel”, la balada cantada por Mikael Dahl cierra el disco. Un disco de buen Heavy metal muy recomendable. Dales una oportunidad. BY: Faus

 

Radio Ara 9/10

The opener The Charioteer is screaming Sweden straight in your face. Crystal Eyes play this kind of power metal that is polished to perfection in Europe's high north. I have never heard of Crystal Eyes before, and was surprised to see that they are now already in their thirteenth year and have released their fifth full length album. Once you start looking them up on the web, you read a lot of not so good reviews of their albums. After making my way three times through Confessions Of The Maker, I can't see why this one should be any worse than your average good Swedish metal album, and wonder if the lack of a big label drives some people to disperse such negative thoughts. Maybe Crystal Eyes improved with this album, as guitar player and main songwriter Mikael Dahl decided to give up singing on all but one song, and gave the microphone to Lost Horizon vocalist Daniel Heiman, whose terrific organ certainly is one of the reasons this band sounds so professional. Another reason is the fact that whenever they play faster songs, they even sound better than most power metal bands, giving them an air of late-Eighties melodic speed metal, somehow like very early Helloween. Of course they don't keep that high level throughout the album, but generally this should be a good album for fans of the genre, even if the lyrics rely too heavily on clichéd heavy metal lingo. Like I said before, without a big label in their backs, they may have a hard time getting properly distributed, but maybe the fact that they are so far the only band on their label will also help them out priority-wise. Quality-conscious melodic power metal fans should check this album out. BY: Pascal

 

Rafabasa 7/10

El resultado es interesante, la voz de Daniel es espectacular, y los temas están hechos no a su medida, pero si a su estilo. Son once cortes, y nada más empezar, nos damos cuenta de que su Power Metal va a estar plagado de melodías alegres y pegadizas. Destacar el sonido, las ganas por agradar, y los estribillos, pegadizos y eficientes. Heavy Metal bien hecho... " Review realizada por. Los caminos del Metal son inescrutables; amén. LOST HORIZON era, o son, una de las bandas más prometedoras dentro del Heavy / Power europeo, dos discos impecables, una imagen espectacular, y unos directos en los que deben todavía mejorar, al menos la única vez que los he visto. Pero hete aquí que el destino hizo que el máximo compositor de LH se largara, (Trascendental Protagonist se hacía llamar), y vuélvete a heter aquí, que tuvo que volver, y de paso su fantástico vocalista, Daniel Heiman, se tuvo que marchar. Como pasa siempre, dos egos disonantes. Sigamos con la historia, por que fue entonces cuando una banda sueca de medio pelo con oficio y poco beneficio, con tres álbumes de estudio, deciden que Mikael Dahl, cantante y guitarrista, se dedique mejor solo a tocar. Bien, los nexos son fácilmente nudables. El poderoso powermetalero vocalista Daniel, va a parar a una banda de Heavy melódico ramplón. El resultado es interesante, la voz de Daniel es espectacular, y los temas están hechos no a su medida, pero si a su estilo. Pocas son las ocasiones en las que su poderío salta a relucir. Sinceramente, creo que CRYSTAL EYES se le queda pequeña al señor Daniel Heiman. Son once cortes, y nada más empezar, nos damos cuenta de que su Power Metal va a estar plagado de melodías alegres y pegadizas. “The Chariotter” abre el camino de la senda gloriosa de los true believers, con un estribillo facilón, digno de los insulsos FREEDOM CALL. El sonido es poderoso y brillante, se nota que sabían que la jugada comercial iba a estar en boca de muchos metaleros, conscientes de la gloria que podía aportar el nuevo vocalista, y se han volcado en los detalles. Las composiciones, en su mayoría del guitarrista ex vocalista Mikael Dahl, tienen unas buenas harmonías vocales (algunas de ellas forzadamente comerciales, o demasiado alegres para mi gusto), pero digno de mención son los solos, con un sonido pulcro, y no exentos de cierta técnica. “Conffesions Of The Maker” tiene un ritmo más lento, densa y marcada en la estrofa, y con estribillo a coro para marcarse un bailoteo, de esos que te ponen contentillo, y si llevas una cervecita en la mano la empiezas a mover de un lado para otro, y se te cae toda al suelo... en fin, que me voy por los cerros (anda como yo!!) de Úbeda. Bueno, una vez vuelto de los cerros de ese bello lugar, entramos de lleno en “Northern Rage”, esta si que mola. Más clásica, con un inicio que me ha recordado a los Dioses SAXON. Ritmo trepidante, en ocasiones recordando a LOST HORIZON, pero más comedidos, incluso nuestro amigo Dani se destapa un poco sacando la fiera encendida que lleva dentro. Desde luego, para crear esta nueva obra, han bebido de fuentes del Metal teutón, desde RUNNING WILD hasta HELLOWEEN. “The Fool's Ballet”, tiene un compás de batería genial al inicio, y el resto, es un himno total, para abrazarte con los amigos, y ya puestos con las amigas. Es un corte de corte, válgame, similar a los EDGUY del “Theater Of Salvation”. “The Terror”, con sus más de 7 minutos, se erige poderosa como el trueno, como cien mísiles nucleares, por fin Daniel se deja de ostias, y empieza a gritar como un poseso, que queréis que os diga, a mi estos aspavientos y estas demostraciones de poder me ponen a tono. Es un tema más variado y más enrevesado. Tiene un puente muy bueno, y el estribillo no es lo que uno espera, parece un cortar / pegar de otro tema, pero bueno. El final, a grito pelado, nos recordará a los tiempos del “A Flame To The Ground Beneath”. “Panic” tiene una armonía Helloweniana, un ritmo trepidante, y un estribillo demasiado facilón, tanto para el que lo ha creado, como para el que lo escuchará. “White Wolves” en su inicio parece RUNNING WILD, aguerridas guitarras y desafiantes melodías. Daniel canta a dos voces, una grave y otra aguda. El resto cabalga sobre el doble bombo de Stefan Svantesson en uno de las mejores coplas del trabajo. “The Burning Vision”, es intensa, otra vez el voceras se suelta la melena (bueno, si la tuviera). Es la más comercial del trabajo, con influencias de SCORPIONS, un ritmo de guitarra fácil, acompaña a unas melodías vocales alegres y un estribillo fantástico. “Revolution In The Shadowland”, muestra su cara más Heavy, pero a estas alturas pecan un poco de repetición de esquemas, ni siquiera los cambios de ritmo radicales salvan un tema un tanto anodino. “Terminal Voyage” tiene un riff muy rockero, aunque la parte instrumental a 4 o 5 guitarras es un poco cansina. El final, es para una power ballad, “Silent Angel”, cantada por Mikael Dahl; acústicas y teclado, para cerrar de forma majestuosa. Es un buen trabajo, agradable de escuchar, pero le falta cierta mala leche. Es inevitable comparar el trabajo de Daniel en LOST HORIZON, y darse cuenta de que aquí está un poco desaprovechado. Destacar el sonido, las ganas por agradar, y los estribillos, pegadizos y eficientes. Heavy Metal bien hecho. BY: Àlex Sánchez Cerro

 

Rock Hard 6/10

Nachdem das Debüt der Schweden bereits 1999 nur wenige Begeisterungsstürme hervorrufen und sicherlich keine größeren Verkaufszahlen nach sich ziehen konnte, ist es erstaunlich, dass sechs Jahre und einige Labelwechsel später bereits das vierte Album der Nordlichter vorliegt. Zwar setzt man seit dem Debüt kontinuierlich vermehrt auf Chöre und weniger auf Geschwindigkeit und Power; stilistisch groß geändert hat sich am melodischen und recht eingängigen Schweden-Metal mit heimischen und teutonischen Einflüssen allerdings nicht viel. So kommt das Material streckenweise zu eingängig, zahnlos und identitätslos daher, woran auch der verbesserte Gesang des ehemaligen Lost-Horizon-Sängers Daniel Heiman und die gelungene Produktion nur wenig ändern können. Da das Quintett mittlerweile kein Newcomer-Act mehr ist und es in diesem Genre massig Konkurrenz (vor allem vor der eigenen Haustür) gibt, muss man für den Durchbruch etwas mehr als nur nette Melodien bieten. Ich würde mich nicht wundern, wenn die Scheibe das letzte Lebenszeichen der Truppe ist. BY: Wolfram Küper

 

Rock Heavy Loud 8/10

Após dois anos do seu último lançamento “Vengeance Descending”, a banda Crystal Eyes retorna revigorada. O título do seu novo álbum é “Confessions Of The Maker”, e vem cheio de novidades a começar pelo novo vocalista Daniel Heiman que foi convidado por Mikael Dahl a juntar-se à banda e o facto dos dois já se conhecerem de tempos facilitou muito. O som dos Crystal Eyes está cada vez mais Heavy Metal, a banda ganhou mais peso com a dose certa de melodia, a primeira música é The Charioteer fala sobre a mitologia nórdica, o Deus trovão Thor e sobre os acontecimentos do Ragnarok que foi inspirado no antigo Edda. Mas a cada música passada o disco vai ficando cada vez melhor; “Confessions Of The Maker” música título do disco tem uma visão mais obscura da vida, a sonoridade do bom e velho Heavy Metal tradicional. “Northern Rage” uma óptima música, fala sobre a raiva nórdica e as suas consequências, tudo que os Vikings eram capazes de fazer. A música é bastante energética e rápida, a combinação perfeita entre contexto lírico e sonoridade apresentada. Digamos que foi uma boa surpresa este disco que recebemos com bom agrado, pois tornasse em mais uma banda promissora nos próximos anos no mundo do Heavy Metal. BY: Carlos Castro

 

Rock It! Magazine 7/10

Album Nummer vier liefern die Schweden von CRYSTAL EYES mit „Confessions Of The Maker“ ab. Die Band um Gitarristen und Songschreiber Mikael Dahl bewegt sich im traditionellen, melodischen Metal, wie er schon vor über 25 Jahren während der NWOBHM entstand und später von Bands wie HAMMERFALL aufgegriffen wurde. Handwerklich kann das Quintett durchaus mithalten, wobei mir die melodischeren Songs wie „Confessions Of The Maker“ oder „Terminal Voyage“ am besten gefallen. Die von Dahl selbst gesungene Ballade „Silent Angel“ kommt doch ein wenig arg schmalzig rüber und hin und wieder bleibt das Songwriting in den von Bands wie IRON MAIDEN, SAXON oder ACCEPT vorgestanzten Schablonen hängen. Sänger Daniel Heiman (ex-LOST HORIZON) liefert eine solide, aber nie spektakuläre Leistung ab. Soundtechnisch ist „Confessions Of The Maker“ als durchaus gelungen zu bezeichnen. Zusammenfassend kann man sagen, dass diese Scheibe für Fans traditionellen Metals durchaus interessant sein kann, auch wenn sie eher Hausmannskost enthält ... aber Nouvelle Cuisine ist schließlich nicht jedermanns Sache. BY: Christoph Pöschl

 

Rocktimes 7/10

Crystal Eyes sind in der Szene keine Neulinge mehr. Die Schweden veröffentlichen mit "Confessions Of The Maker" mittlerweile das vierte Studioalbum und hoffen damit auch landübergreifend Aufmerksamkeit zu erhalten. Das ihr Sound von Bands wie u.a. Accept, Helloween, Hammerfall, Rage oder auch Iron Maiden beeinflusst ist, daraus machen sie wahrlich keinen Hehl. Verantwortlich dafür ist Mikael Dahl, Gitarrist und Songwriter, der außerdem 12 lange Jahre für Crystal Eyes das Mikro schwang und diesen Posten für die neuen Aufnahmen nun an Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon) übergab. Dieser hatte schon auf dem Vorgänger "Vengeance Descending" bei einem Stück probesingen dürfen. Vorerst soll Daniel aber kein festes Bandmitglied sein. Klar kann man sofort wieder dazu neigen, Crystal Eyes als Kopie einer der o.g. Bands zu bezeichnen, aber ich bin mir sicher, dass es auch nicht ihr Anliegen ist, das Heavy Metal-Rad neu zu erfinden. Die Mischung aus Power Metal und 80er-Jahre-Sound kommt gut und knackig rüber, die Songs sind sehr eingängig, melodiös und mitreißend. Bereits nach dem ersten Hördurchgang hat man einfach nur gute Laune. Anspieltips: Schon der Opener "The Charioteer" ist eine ordentliche Wuchtbrumme, das Intro lässt richtig schön die Matten schütteln, es wird nur ab und zu mal ein Gang zurückgeschalten, um gleich wieder im Double-Bass-Rhythmus voll auf die 13 zu hauen. Ja - das macht Spaß! Sehr schön auch "Northern Rage", ebenfalls ein Power-Stück mit Mitgrölrefrain, welches dem geneigten Headbanger zeigt, wo der Hammer hängt. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass der Track live eine absolute Granate ist. Erwähnenswert dabei auch die geile Gitarrenarbeit, die mich ab und zu doch sehr an Iron Maiden erinnert. "The Terror", zurückhaltend beginnend erfährt in den über sieben Minuten Spielzeit eine klare Steigerung in Richtung härtere Gefilde. Richtig schöner, wütender Gesang und tiefergestimmte, fast sägende Gitarren wechseln mit akustischen Klängen, dazu der immer wieder verschachtelte Rhythmus - das hat einfach was. "The Terror" ist für mich eines der Highlights auf der Platte. Fanfarenklänge eröffnen "White Wolves" (eine tolle Idee), ehe es dann zur Jagd auf die weißen Wölfe geht. Ein Stück mit Ohrwurmcharakter, ausgeschmückt mit feinen Gitarrensoli. Als Rausschmeißer wählte man eine wunderschöne Ballade: "Silent Angel". Ja, wirklich - fast engelsgleich kommen zarte, akustische Töne aus den Boxen. Piano, Gitarre, Perkussion, fast an ein Spinett erinnernde Klänge untermalen dieses komplexe Klanggebilde. Chorgesang unterstützt die Refrainpassagen, bis dann fast gegen Ende die E-Gitarre mit einem Solo einsetzt, gefolgt von Bass und Drums die somit den Höhepunkt einläuten, um zum Abschluss wieder in reinen Chorgesang überzugehen. Alles in allem ist "Confessions Of The Maker" eine abwechslungsreiche Scheibe, die für Freunde des gepflegten Power Metal empfehlenswert ist. Mal wird gebolzt, dass die Biergläser im Schrank zu hüpfen beginnen, somit kommen die Banger voll auf ihre Kosten, dann wieder gibt es verschleppte, teils verschachtelte Rhythmen, Balladen oder Halbballaden. Es ist alles vorhanden, was ein gutes Metal-Album ausmacht. Ich denke, 7 Punkte von 10 werden dem Gebotenen vollauf gerecht. BY: Ilka Czernohorsky

 

Shapeless Zine 7,5/10

Siate sinceri, e mettetevi nei panni di chi scrive! Mi trovo a recensire un CD di un gruppo svedese. La prima cosa che penso è death melodico, poi leggo i titoli delle canzoni e vedo le facce dei cinque "paladini" e già capisco... Il lettore parte, una melodia zuccherosa ed un inizio veloce ("No! Ci siamo... ancora power, e per di più banale!!!"), ma poco dopo il tutto, di colpo, rallenta e si cambia "musica": la band inizia a martellare con del buono e classico heavy metal. Il CD, a parte qualche episodio non molto felice, si fa ascoltare anche molto volentieri. Le capacità dei singoli individui, le scelte degli arrangiamenti e soprattutto l'ugola del cantante Daniel Heiman, fanno subito pensare ad un lavoro interessante. L'iniziale "The Charioteer" e la seguente "Confessions Of The Maker" si insinuano subito su per il midollo e rimbalzano in testa alla grande. La prima è caratterizzata da moltissime melodie azzeccate (caratteristica che va scomparendo, man mano il disco procede: che peccato!), e da una voce che trasmette emozioni, almeno al sottoscritto; la seconda è un vero e proprio inno che sfoggia la parte migliore nel ritornello (e dove altrimenti?). Con "Nothern Rage", i musicisti giocano a fare i "tedesconi di turno" e quindi ecco che le influenze di Running Wild, Blind Guardian e Iron Saviour saltano fuori; pagati i tributi alle influenze obbligatorie per tutte le band, i Crystal Eyes ci regalano, con la quarta traccia, il loro personale "Fool's Ballet": pezzo molto divertente e di breve durata, basato su una cavalcata epica nella strofa che sfocia nell'up-tempo del ritornello. Originale e piacevole, si esaurisce in fretta ma la voglia di risentirla rimane a canzone terminata. "The Terror" è il pezzo più lungo dell'album, cosa che crea una dualità di visione nel giudizio del pezzo. L'eccessiva lunghezza è sia il pregio che il difetto della canzone. Pregio poiché nella lunghezza vengono snocciolati una miriade di riff alquanto heavy e, a dirla tutta, pure molto efficaci; difetto poiché il pezzo non trova mai una vera e propria rotta, quindi si ha l'impressione di assistere ad un naufragio musicale, che a volte ci porta in lidi acustici, a volte in insenature di riff taglienti, il tutto incollato alla meglio da una voce sempre sopra le righe. Insomma, troppi cambi di tempo e troppe idee tutte assieme a volte non giovano: peccato! Dopo esserci lasciati alle spalle il "polpettone" del disco, ci tuffiamo a capofitto nella successiva "Panic". Un pezzo già sentito almeno un milione di volte da altrettanti gruppi. La strofa velocissima con il classico "stop" sul pre-ritornello ed il ritornello epico e maestoso è cosa gia trita e ritrita. Ce n'era proprio bisogno? No, grazie! Con "White Wolves" i Running Wild vengono chiamati in causa come unica influenza: attenzione, "influenza" e non plagio. L'inizio dinamitardo, che ci scoppia in faccia, con una cassa e un riff cadenzato di chitarra, non potrà non farvi agitare la testa, soprattutto se fermi in auto a qualche semaforo. Grandiose anche le chitarre armonizzate che precedono l'assolo. C'è da dire che i due chitarristi sono molto affiatati e creano un buon team stile K.K. Downing e Glen Tipton (come chi sono?!). Insomma, un gran bel pezzo da sentire, prevalentemente (ripeto) mentre si viaggia in auto. "The Burning Vision", a parte la voce che è sempre curata, non mi ha affascinato moltissimo, forse perché non riesce a darmi appigli per riuscire a trovare qualcosa che mi piaccia veramente nel pezzo. La classica canzone destinata a restare sempre e solo l'ottava traccia del quarto disco della band. Con "Revolution In The Shadowland" si tenta ancora di prendere la via più facile per il successo. Acuti impressionanti, buoni riff di chitarra con tanto di "fischi" alla Pantera, cavalcate di batteria che si alternano ad up-tempo: che altro manca per la classica canzone fotocopia che il genere molte volte impone? La differenza, nel pezzo, la fanno solo gli stacchi che rallentano la frenesia power, trasformando il tutto, per poco, in un canzone oscura, maligna. In fondo è "dal regno delle ombre che si vuol scappare", quindi non ci si potrebbe aspettare altro! "Terminal Voyage" si allaccia un po' alla precedente canzone, ma qui i riff sopracitati abbondano, le cavalcate sono sostituite da tempi più ridimensionati e le chitarre assieme al basso lavorano per colpire duro l'ascoltatore (in fondo è di metallo pesante che si parla!) grazie a stacchi, accordi e melodie veramente killer! Ben fatto! "Silent Angel" è il classico pezzo che rovina la media di un disco che oscilla tra la sufficienza e il buono. Purtroppo di ballate con orchestre ce ne sono anche troppe, ed i Crystal Eyes non ci suonano nulla di nuovo: dispiace, poiché il tutto va ad abbassare il voto finale. Ricapitolando, i Crystal Eyes sono duri e non troppo veloci. Sanno quello che vogliono e riescono ad essere abbastanza personali, salvo alcuni pezzi dove l'influenza di altre band viene a galla. Insomma cosa volete di più dalla vita? Non esisteranno sempre e solo quei quattro gruppi che oramai stanno riciclando la stessa idea da due album a questa parte (chi ha detto Blind Guardian??). Volete provare qualcosa che alla fine, secondo me, non vi deluderà affatto? Ecco, lanciatevi sui Crystal Eyes: un diversivo interessante. BY: Hellcat Maggio

 

Speed Of Light 7/10

Ïalšia švédska kapela to otoèila! Je to ve¾ká škoda a ja to moc dobre nechápem, èo tým vlastne sledujú, obráti z dobrého power/speedu k èistému heavy metalu. Po HAMMERFALL, STEEL ATTACK, NOSTRADAMEUS sa pridal aj CRYSTAL EYES. Samozrejme, že už na minulom CD „Vengeance descending“ to bolo cíti (vèasné varovanie), ale ešte to bolo pol na pol. Novinka „Confessions of the maker“ sa ale už nesie komplet v žánri menom heavy metal. Rýchle veci na CD proste nie sú. Dve skladby sú svižnejšie a pripomínajú staré èasy, ale už to nie je ako napríklad „Interstellar war“ z jednièky. Škoda, škoda. Svižnejšia muzika by im neuškodila a stále by mohli tvrdi, že hrajú heavy metal (alebo power). Na druhej strane ale, heavy metal v podaní CRYSTAL EYES nie je zlý! Oproti poslednému STEEL ATTACKu je to pecka. Zo švédskych kapiel èo otoèili týmto smerom dopadli asi najlepšie... Dá sa to poèúva a fanúšik èistého heavy metalu to iste ocení. Má to dobré melódie a nie je to ošúchané ako u krajanov HAMMERFALL. Takisto to nie je také suché ako posledný NOSTRADAMEUS! V prvom rade treba zabudnú na prvé dva albumy CRYSTAL EYES. Zobra CD do ruky ako keby to bola kapela TUTUTU a poèúva. Potom sa ukáže, že to je dobrý heavy metal, za ktorý by sa nemuseli hanbi ani nemecké kapely. CD nenudí, chlapci ešte vedia sklada. Kapela má nového speváka Daniela Heimana, ktorý prišiel z LOST HORIZON. Hlasovo sa ale ponáša na Mikaela Dahla, aj keï Daniel má vyššie kvality. Spev išiel teda nahor. Hudba mierne nadol (ani nie výkonnostne, ale žánrovo). Inak nie je tu ten problém, že muzika je robená na speváka, Daniel by zvládol v pohode aj speedovky... Nevadí ale, nie je to tak zlé. Nový album nie je moc na prvé poèutie, ale na tretie sa do toho dostanete. Ak ale ste odchovaní na klasike (alebo nemáte doma prvé 2 CD kapely), možno vám to sadne hneï. „Confessions of the maker“ je dobrý heavy metalový album. Niè viac. Keby hrali také piesne ako je tretia „Northern rage“, tak je to super. Ale aj tak, poznám ve¾mi ve¾a horších heavy metalových CD ako toto. Finálne hodnotenie: dobré. BY: Matej Kimlicka

 

Streets Webzine 7/10

Norwegian
Crystal Eyes fra Borås i Sverige er et helt nytt bekjentskap for meg selv om de har tre utgivelser på samvittigheten før de nå slipper denne. Likevel oppdaget jeg raskt ett eller annet ved musikken som var veldig kjent, og etter litt research fant jeg ut at stemmen som synger tilhører Daniel Heiman, tidligere vokalist og frontmann i Lost Horizon. Daniel regnes for å være en av Sveriges aller dyktigste metal vokalister, og det beviser han på denne utgivelsen også. Stilmessig leverer Crystal Eyes relativt tradisjonell heavy metal med fokus på melodi, faktisk ikke helt ulikt nettopp Lost Horizon. Bra er det også. Skiva består av 11 sterke og fengende låter som med god produksjon og Daniels stemme på toppen løfter ’Confessions of the maker’ godt over gjennomsnittet.

English
Crystal Eyes are based in Borås, Sweden and is a new acquaintance to me even though they have three albums on their conscience ahead of this one. Still I discovered right away that there was something about this music that sounded very familiar. After a little research I found out that the voice on this album belongs to Daniel Heiman, former singer and frontman in Lost Horizon. Daniel is considered one of the best metal singers in Sweden, and his performance on this album shows why. Crystal Eyes’ style is relatively traditional heavy metal with focus on melody, actually not to far from the style of Lost Horizon. The album consists of eleven strong and catchy songs that, together with a strong production and Daniel’s voice on top, makes this an album well above average. BY: Even

 

Sweden Rock Magazine 7/10

Det var knappast bara nedplitaren av dessa ord som bekymrat undrade vart Sveriges i särklass bäste vokalist, Daniel Heiman, skulle ta vägen efter att han tvättat bort den märkliga ansiktsmålningen och övergivit LOST HORIZONs heliga uppdrag. Hans är helt enkelt en röst som inte får tystna. Och kanske tycker fler än jag också att han kunde valt att skänka sin gudagivna röst åt ett mer spännande band än CRYSTAL EYES, som uppriktigt sagt aldrig imponerat stort på mig tidigare. Nu är det dock annat ljud i skällan, vilket till icke ringa del beror på att Daniel helt enkelt härskar. Och att de plötsligt – men knappast oväntat – låter kusligt likt LOST HORIZON. De höjderna når de emellertid inte upp till vilket bland annat beror på att det emellanåt blir i käckaste laget, som i schlagerdängan ”The Fool’s Ballet”. Det hinner man dock inte reta sig länge på, för den följs direkt av drygt sju minuter långa mästerstycket ”The Terror”, där Daniel redan i introt undslipper sig ett omänskligt skrik av den typ som nästan bara han är förmögen. Är detta LOST HORIZON light? Tja, på sätt och vis är det väl faktiskt det. Jämförelserna är oundvikliga efter sångarbytet och de utfaller inte till kristallögonens fördel. Men å andra sidan har rockaden lyft bandet till höjder jag inte trodde de skulle komma i närheten av. Eller så är jag bara pinsamt torsk på Daniel Heimans sång. BY: Zendt

 

Terrorverlag 

Schweden, klassischer Heavy Power Metal. Aha. Mal ganz was Neues... und in der Tat, auch die 4.Scheibe der Mannen um Mastermind Mikael Dahl rauscht als typischer Schweden-Metal durch die Boxen. Einflüsse von MAIDEN, ACCEPT und vor allem HELLOWEEN werden zu einem wohlbekannten Gemisch verrührt, ohne natürlich die Klasse der Originale zu erreichen. Handwerklich mal wieder aller erste Sahne bietet man gewohnt gutklassigen Stoff, mal schneller (Northern Rage, Panic),mal stampfiger und bombastischer (The Terror). HAMMERFALL, SONATA ARCTICA, STRATOVARIUS und auch RUNNING WILD, RAGE etc...die üblichen Verdächtigen dürfen mal wieder als Vergleich herhalten. Und schlechter als die Genannten musiziert man auf (Confessions of the Maker) auch nicht. Zudem hat man mit ex-LOST HORIZON-Vokalakrobat Daniel Heimann einen Klassemann am Mikro, der allerdings nur für diese Scheibe und kommende Live-Aktionen an Bord ist. Schade, passt seine Stimme doch hervorragend zum Material von CRYSTAL EYES. Das Schlagzeug wurde immerhin von Ikone Andy LaRoque aufgenommen, aber auch der Sound der übrigen Instrumente lässt nichts zu wünschen übrig. Glockenhelle Vocals, geile Chöre, fetter Sound, fitte Musiker... also alles, was man braucht!? Und auch die obligatorische Halbballade mit Mitsingpart hat man zum Schluss am Start (Silent Angel). Schweden Metal-Komplettisten müssen zugreifen, um ihrer Sammlung ein weiteres geiles Album hinzuzufügen. Für alle anderen stellt sich genauso wie mir mal wieder die Frage (unabhängig von der Gutklassigkeit des Albums), wer das bitteschön alles kaufen soll!? Hört auf jeden Fall rein, Ihr habt die Macht. BY: Moses

 

The Power Of Metal 7/10

Crystal Eyes har aldrig tillhört de stora inom power metal-genren och om jag ska vara ärlig, tror jag inte att speciellt många har kastat sig över deras skivor vid releasedagen heller för den delen. Men det släpp som vankas i år är faktiskt flera snäpp mer intressant än föregående album. Mästervokalisten Daniel Heiman, före detta bosatt i dundergruppen Lost Horizon, låter nämligen sina lejonvrål ljuda på "Confessions Of The Maker". Gitarristen Mikael Dahl, som tidigare har stått för ylandet på boråsbandets plattor, har således fått stiga ner från sångpositionen till förmån för sin gamle vän. Daniel är destomindre ingen fullvärdig medlem hos boråsarna, utan står endast för liveframträdanden. Om han kommer sjunga på nästa vax får helt enkelt framtiden utvisa. Det är dock inte första gången som mannen med - i mitt tycke - sveriges vassaste pipa får äran att låta sig höras på ett Crystal Eyes-album. Redan vid förra släppet var det herr Heiman som stod för vokalistinsatsen på låten "The Wizards Apprentice". Låten var och är, otroligt bra. Skivan som nu snurrar i datorn var därför en plastbit som undertecknad hade högt ställda förväntningar på. Nu undrar ni så klart om dessa infriades? Svaret på frågan är både ja och nej. Nej, det blev inte ett mästerverk. Ja, plattan är faktiskt riktigt bra, men med skyhöga förväntingar blev den inte lika bra som jag hade hoppats på. Crystal Eyes har dukat upp en smakfull buffé bestående av allt från sköna mid-tempo-bitar till snabba 80-talsflörtande melodier, och med Daniels stålskärande röst som grädde på moset kan det inte bli annat än bra. Midtemposkapelsen "The Burning Vision", sjuminuterseposet "The Terror", "Revolution In The Shadowland" och "Terminal Voyage" hoppas jag redan kommer bli live-klassiker i bandets setlist. Avslutande "Silent Angel" sjungs av Mikael Dahl och i ärlighetens namn kunde de ha skippat den och det beror inte på att Dahl sjunger. BY: Johan Karlsson

 

Top Rock Centrum 75/100

Ètvrté album mnì dosud neznámých Švédù Crystal Eyes (první dvì vycházejí v tìchto dnech v reedici) pøináší klasický heavy metal, tedy hudbu, již má èást metalových fanouškù moc ráda i dnes, a další èást tím pádem zase nerada; pøesto by ji však mìl každý z nás minimálnì respektovat. Vztáhnu-li na novinku Confessions Of The Maker obvyklá kritéria, musím konstatovat, že vše je v naprostém poøádku. Tvrdá a nezkrocenì kytarová mutace zmínìného žánru se pohybuje nìkde na pomezí švédské (“hammerfallovsky” revivalový styl), italské – hlavnì díky projevu a akcentu nového zpìváka Daniela Heimana, jenž, odmyslíte-li si urèitou nutnou dávku pøepjatosti, rozhodnì patøí mezi talentované pìvce –, a nìmecké školy (typická urputnost, vražedné nasazení a speedové prvky). Jednotlivé písnì pak dle mého názoru rozhodnì pøekonávají laku prùmìru, která je v daném žánru nastavena pomìrnì vysoko. Oba kytaristé totiž odvedli skuteènì dobrou práci. Zdvojené pasáže, vyhrávky, zmìny riffù v prùmìrné rychlosti jeden riff za tøi až pìt sekund. Pøipoèteme-li k tomu vynikající èistý zvuk nástrojù a bezchybným dojmem pùsobící rytmiku, dostaneme dravou a osvìžující jednotu – vyznání muzikantù, kteøí hrají styl, jejž milují a zároveò chtìjí, aby se tato hudba líbila, a to zejména lidem naladìným na stejnou vlnu jako oni. Vìøte mi, že bude! BY: Vladimír Hackl