Crystal Ball

CD 1
1. HELLvetia
2. Moondance
3. Soul Mate
4. Lay Down The Law
5. He Came To Change The World
6. Dance With The Devil
7. Mozart Symphony
8. My Life
9. Am I Free
10. Forever And Eternally
CD 2
1. Paradise
2. Mayday!
3. Alive For Evermore
4. Hold Your Flag
5. Eye To Eye
6. Suspended
7. Déjà-Voodoo
8. Anyone Can Be A Hero
9. Curtain Call
10. Director’s Cut

Steven Mageney - Vocals
Scott Leach - Lead- & Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
Tony T.C. Castell - Rhythm Guitars
Marcel Sardella - Drums
Cris Stone - Bass

1999 In The Beginning
2000 Hard Impact
2002 Virtual Empire
2003 HELLvetia
2005 TimeWalker
2007 Secrets
2013 Dawnbreaker

2015 LifeRider
2016 Dèjá Voodoo
2018 Crystallizer

Stefan Kaufmann - acoustic guitar & guitar solo
Noora Louhimo - vocals

Produced, recorded and mastered by Stefan Kaufmann at ROXX Studio in Solingen, Germany
Mixed by Stefan Kaufmann and Mattes at ROXX Studio in Solingen, Germany
Cover artwork by Thomas Ewerhard

Released 2019-08-02
Reviewed 2019-07-17



Crystal Ball has understood the wise thing about not releasing Best Of albums all the time; some bands have more Best Of and live albums than actual albums. Crystal Ball is releasing its first Best Of album and they do it to celebrate twenty years and they do it with twenty songs, hence the title. In 2020 they will also embark on a tour, perhaps the 2020 tour. They have split the album in two CDs, one covering the first decade on ten tracks and the second covering the second decade on ten tracks. The tracks of the first disk have been rerecorded and reinterpreted so you could claim that they have been modernised to the band’s current spec. The songs of the second album have been either re-recorded, newly arranged and/or enhanced with additional recordings, so it is certainly adds more than your average Best Of release.

The style of Crystal Ball is classic hard rock or melodic metal with catchy choruses and fairly typical hard rocking songs with energy and power. The fact that they have reworked and rerecorded songs makes the album a lot more coherent than many compilations you hear. Stylewise it is what the band has always done and it feels like a logical addition to their discography, and the selection of songs is quite good even though one or two additional ballad-style songs could have added a bit of depth. It gets a little bit long as the variation could have been better. But it is a good selection of songs to represent the band’s long career. You could always check out the bloody amusing video to HELLvetios if you want to have an example, credit to Massacre for putting out so much songs and albums on the tube so that we can provide you with many examples.

This is a strong release, good songs, catchy songs, lots of hit potential, you can write many positives about this album as it is a good showcase of what Crystal Ball is about. And it even offers something new for the fans that already own everything by Crystal Ball as the songs are reworked and rerecorded. So it certainly feels like a motivated Best Of album, it celebrates an occasion and does it well. It is a good documentation over the long career of this band with some of their strongest songs, like the excellent Curtain Call from last year’s brilliant release Crystallizer. I do however think that Crystallizer is too little represented on this album, as there are more great tracks on that album than any other by Crystal Ball. Still, you can’t fault the choices of songs too much.

A Best Of release should however be the definitive album by a band, the obvious choice when to play something by the band. I don’t think this album fits that description; the definitive and best album by Crystal Ball is their latest studio alum Crystallizer that I think is a much better album choice than this one. Sure, you will not be disappointed with this one either but it is hard to give an unreserved recommendation when there are better choices but if you are a fan you should celebrate Crystal Ball's first twenty years with this album.



Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands:
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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