Released at the tail end of 2013, Possession is the fifth album from Polish heavy metal band Crystal Viper. Notice I call them a heavy metal band, and not a “female fronted meta l band.” Yes, Crystal Viper has a female vocalist – one Marta Gabriel – but they’re not defined by their singer’s gender. The music is what defines the band.
Speaking of which, Crystal Viper’s overall sound is rooted in the traditional heavy metal genre. Think Accept, Grim Reaper and Mercyful Fate, with elements of Warlock and Zed Yago. With Possession, the band takes that classic metal style and incorporates a conceptual storyline about, well, demon possession. It’s a definite nod to King Diamond, and for the most part it works. Of course you can also enjoy these songs on their own as kickass metal tracks with pummeling rhythms, razor sharp guitar riffs and Gabriel’s unique vocals. I hadn’t heard a Crystal Viper album since the debut, so Possession really struck me as a much more polished and improved release. “Voices in My Head” and “You Will Die You Will Burn” were my favorite tracks, but the whole album smokes.
If you’re a fan of powerful, old school heavy metal along the lines of Accept, Benedictum, and King Diamond, Crystal Viper’s latest will not disappoint. This is the kind of metal you want to be “possessed” by!
Edition Notes: There’s a killer cover of Riot’s “Thundersteel” added as a bonus track on the CD version of Possession.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this CD by the label for review.