Crimson Glory were a seminal progressive metal band from the United States that rose to prominence in the late eighties, by innovating and perfecting their brand of music that has since been classed as progressive metal. After releasing four critically acclaimed albums, the nucleus of the band dissolved resulting in various band members forming other bands or fading into obscurity altogether.
The ghost of Crimson Glory was resurrected on the 1999 conceptual opus `Astronomica', however there were three original members back in the fold with the vocal slot filled by journeyman vocalist, Wade Black. This album was a jaded effort for enduring fans like myself as the original voice of Crimson Glory, namely Midnight was notably absent. This album was not well received by the music public for a number of factors, mainly, Black's banshee like vocals were ill suited for the Crimson Glory vibe and the band has remained inert since then.
Roll over to 2005 and after a fifteen-year hiatus the original vocalist, Midnight, has reinvented himself by coming out of the shadows, releasing a rather bizarre, yet interesting album in the form of `Sakada'. Musically speaking, the album is very different from the original Crimson Glory (bar one song) sound of that era, however Midnight's unmistakable voice is still there, being as graceful and harmonious as ever and that is what counts.
This is again another one of those releases that is hard to categorise, mainly due to the diversity of the music within. I would however label it more towards atmospheric rock/metal, but there are some rather diverse influences to be discovered. One thread running through some of the tracks is a Middle Eastern influence that has a rather eerie feel at times.
Other influences are the blues based song `Lost boy', the Pink Floyd inspired `Pain' and the Middle Eastern tinged `Miss Kate', but `War' has the recurring mood of the Crimson Glory sound of yesteryear. The music does sound rather disjointed at times, as so many different atmospheres and dimensions added to the sound, making it a compelling listen. There are some strange but wonderful instruments used, for instance, a washboard, dulcimer, maracas, flute, banjo and acoustic guitar which gives the music such a unique and dynamic edge.
The only downside to this album is the absence of lyrics within the c.d. booklet, which is a shame as some of the songs are sung in a story like fashion. This recording has been a very personal journey for Midnight, but I cannot help wonder if perhaps Midnight has found some spiritual connection with the music he has created. This yet again showcases what an influential songwriter and musician he really is, and with `Sakada' this should reach a far wider audience as there is something for everyone here. R.I.P. Midnight - you were a legend and your contribution and influence to this genre will not be forgotten.