Crystal Eyes
Starbourne Traveler

Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Helloween/Judas Priest/Manowar

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Gods Of Disorder
2. Side By Side
3. Extreme Paranoia
4. Starbourne Traveler
5. Corridors Of Time
6. Paradise Powerlord
7. Into The Fire
8. In The Empire Of Saints
9. Midnight Radio
10. Rage On The Sea

Mikael Dahl - Vocals and Guitars
Jonatan Hallberg - Guitars
Claes Wikander - Bass
Henrik Birgersson - Drums

World of Black and Silver (1999)
In Silence They March (2000)
Vengeance Descending (2003)
Confessions of the Maker (2005)
Dead City Dreaming (2006)
Chained (2008)
Killer (2014)


Produced by Mikael Dahl and Crystal Eyes
Recorded at Crystal Sounds
Mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman
Cover art, layout and design by Gyula Havancsák

Released 2019-12-06
Reviewed 2020-01-28


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They have been making albums for two decades now, the Swedish band Crystal Eyes. They were more active in the early days releasing six albums between 1999 and 2008 and then one in 2014 and this one in 2019. Starbourne Traveler is their eighth album and it certainly looks very nice, it builds on the same idea as the band’s earlier works, too keep the legacy of the bands that were frontrunners in the heavy metal genre in the eighties alive. When I read about bands who are true to form or legacies of others I have to ask why not let the inspirators carry the legacy themselves? There is nothing wrong with being inspired though, but it always helps to do something of your own in order to make your work relevant and not just derivative.

Crystal Eyes gives us a crystal eyed heavy/power metal album, no surprises, and a selection of songs that feels very familiar to anyone who have been listening to this genre for a while. The singer is quite typical of the genre and the same can be said about the production. It sounds like most other albums of the genre and offers nothing really new; the playing time is sensible though which avoids giving it a repetitive feel. I would say that it is a solid production but perhaps they should have dared to venture a bit outside the most threaded paths.

Starbourne Traveler has an excellent title track, something that could make you want to return to the album and play it again, it is a memorable track. I also think In the Empire of Saints is a good one but only the title track is a really strong hit song and I doubt that any of these can be considered that amazing but at least the title track is memorable. Besides the title track and the other one I mentioner there isn’t much worth saying anything about on this album, really average power/heavy metal songs that doesn’t stand out in any way, the only good thing to be said about them is that they aren’t terrible. Had it not been for the two tracks I have named it would have been three points for this one, the hits lift it to a slightly higher level.

Perhaps it is worth checking out if you like the power metal genre, I only think the title track is really worth caring about while the rest of the album is easily dismissible. So check if you like the genre or the band, otherwise you don’t really need to bother. Too bad that they couldn’t make more stuff in the same quality as the title track.