Heads or Tails

Label: Pride & Joy Music
Three similar bands: Helloween/Bonfire/Warlock

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Heads or Tails
2. Knights and Heroes
3. Living on a Lie
4. Save me
5. I’m on Fire
6. The Sleeping Emperor
7. Ready for the Sin
8. The King is Rising
9. Under the Spell
10. The Wild Hunt
11. Thunderclouds

Steve Hall - Bass
Martin Herzinger - Drums
Kristina Berchtold - Vocals
Werner Hießl - Guitar

A Dark Enchanted Crystal Night (2006)
Hattin (2008)
Hundred Days (2009)
Killer (2013)


Produced by Crystallion
Engineered & mixed by Mario Lochert @SeriousBlackStudios
Mastered by Jan Vacik @DreamsoundStudios
Artwork by Martin Herzinger @Venusworksmedia

Released 2021-02-19
Reviewed 2021-02-22

pride & joy

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I recall Crystallion from the album Hattin I reviewed in 2008, it came in a glossy cover that promo CD and I did play it several times. It was a pretty unimpressive power metal with the typical knights in shining armour and high-pitched guy as a vocalist. There was nothing special about it, there are about thirteen albums a dozen of these things. I have not heard them since then, and they have changed a fair bit since then with a new vocalist, and other changes in membership – but not only that, their style has evolved as well with their fifth album at least looking better than the previous one I reviewed.

The most noticeable change you will hear are the female vocals, they have changed to a female singer this time and she has a more personal and emotionally more interesting style than the previous singer. The power metal is somewhat still there, as are the knights, kings, emperors and thunderstorms, but we are also given a more commercial hard rock and metal style that is akin to bands like Warlock or Doro or that kind of thing with the voice more in line with the likes of Pat Benatar. The songs are quite energetic and catchy, but perhaps not that innovative or novel, and the variation isn’t that great with the songs blending a bit together making it appear somewhat long.

Well, the album is pretty good, but it is also a bit unspectacular with no tracks really standing out. The coin flip doesn’t really give anything, it isn’t really heads or tails just one more of those well-made albums that doesn’t make much of a mark. That in itself may not be bad or anything, but I am not sure how exciting it is with such albums, I rather have fewer but more exciting releases. There are positives with this album though, comparing with mentioned Hattin this is way more interesting and perhaps it can be seen as a step in a more interesting direction than the dull power metal I heard from the band before.

I think Crystallion makes a decent album, it could be worth checking out as it has energy and feels pretty appealing to listen to. The backside is that it isn’t very memorable and I doubt it will make more than a peripheral mark in the scrolls of musical history, so I would say that it works but doesn’t quite fly.