Tales of Doom
Pure Steel Records
They say that when something is ending… then surely something new will come up eventually… so that seems to be the case here with the Austrian Crimson Cult… a band which was formed by Günter Maier (guitar & keys) and Alex Hilzensauer (bass) who were on Stygma IV. I have had the chance to follow the band since 2008… when they took shape… and I also listened to their debut album in 2009.
Günter is a very talented guitarist/songwriter… and I still remember some nice heavy tunes from Stigmata (originally named as Muddy Crutch and then Big Heat) which first became Stigmata IV and finally Stygma IV after a while… and had always in mind that they should have become much more popular throughout the years… as they were way better than many average European heavy/power metal bands that built up a career… just copying and releasing mediocre albums. Anyhow, Günter is a guy that loves this kind of music and he will always find ways to deliver it… in any case. Gratefully, he has his long-time friend Alex (bass) by his side and they both found two very talented guys, the singer Walter Stuefer and the drummer Peter “Beda” Bachmayer so as to continue making music.
Crimson Cult were looking for a label to release their sophomore album, for some time, and thankfully they found Pure Steel records. Günter along with Wolfgang Spannberger have taken care of all the recordings and also Wolfgang mixed and mastered the album. The production is rather heavy and not so “compressed”… exhaling a mid/late-90s sense. The guys managed to present a better album than the debut… and generally, a very good heavy metal work which has also some doom, power and melodic metal elements. Those who are aware of the Stygma IV (with all the previous variations) releases know exactly what to expect of Crimson Cult. Just take the Sabbath-Dio era… mix it with Judas Priest… a little more of Dio himself and you’ve got the basic influences of the band. Certainly… the guys do not copy as so many others easily do… for they know how to deliver heavy riffs and nice melodies… as all the songs here have their personal trademark. The female singer Cilly Kar is appearing in the songs “Coshinja” & “The Long Way Home” as well. Moreover, Crimson Cult have recorded a very good & harder cover version of the song “The Inquisition”, which was originally included in the album “War Dance” by Colosseum II and was written by Gary Moore in 1978.
All the songs have a nice story to tell and they are good indeed but those that stand out, I believe, are: “State of Fear”, “Behind The Curtain”, “Institution Christ”, “Coshinja”, “The Long Way Home”, “Warrior Son” & “On The Edge” (wonderful atmospheric ballad). I think that if you like heavy metal music with melodic parts and atmospheric doomy passages you better not let this album slip away…