Sat. Nov 28th, 2020

REVIEW: Crow’s Flight – The Storm

Last month, on the 4th of October, Melodic Metal band CROW’S FLIGHT released their sophomore album, wittingly called “The Storm”, as awaited follow-up to their full debut “The Calm Before” (2011) (I see what you did there). There have been some line-up changes since they were formed back in 2008 by former frontman Crow (CH), guitarist Marko Vehmanen (FI) and bassist Michel van Beekum (NL). Vehmanen is the only original member left, and gathered a new wolfpack with separate musical backgrounds to produce fresh material with, resulting in this latest release.

Most recent newcomers are vocalist Marko Kuikka (KENZINER, STATUS MINOR), and drummer Timo Rajala (ex-ANCARA). Especially Kuikka is a welcome wind of change, adding his own special touch to revamp the vocals, with a slightly rougher edge than we are used to in similar bands. I can definitely appreciate this heavier edge, which is weaved through the whole album as a dark thread that keeps it all together and sets CROW’S FLIGHT apart from other acts. Let’s have a look at how the record turned out, shall we?

The intro blends some storm sound effects and drums for a dramatic, foreboding opening, and then we’re off with rocking “Forevermore”. The confidence of experienced musicians makes this a promising opening track, working up the listener’s excitement for what is yet to come. With “Circle Of Pain” we tread through familiar territory, with a catchy vibe to get you going before “The Mercenary” comes at you mercilessly with its powerful force. Marko Karisto’s bass line here is just to die for. On to “Read Between The Lines”, which puts the “melodic” in Metal, and in “Final Sacrifice” the darker atmosphere I described earlier is most present. “A Candle In The Storm” heavies things up again, with a killer guitar riff and thumping bass line as the cherry on top. We continue on Hard Rock road with “The Path To Follow” and “Sea Of Lies”, the latter being a display of the band’s technical abilities, with elaborate solos.

After the chance to show off their acquired talent, “Darkness Within” takes us back to the band’s darker, rougher side, with what are probably the heaviest riffs on the album. The black hole they create with this track comes close to sucking you in and spitting you back out, which makes this my personal favorite. “Can’t Be Undone” lightens things up again with a grooviness comparable to the catchy “Circle Of Pain”. I can imagine these two tracks being crowd-pleasers at a live show. Last but not least, the most surprising track on “The Storm” must be GENESIS-cover “Home By The Sea” (1983). A lot of times, obscure covers by bands like these get lost in the mix, but – somehow – this one works for me.

During the first listen, “The Storm” sounds like your average, solid but predictable Melodic Metal album. Yet, the key is to relisten, and I bet you’ll discover some details and facets you hadn’t heard before, like exciting song structures and well-placed keyboards. The band is clearly used to getting inspiration from different styles, mixing them up and turning it into their original sound. Eight years after their debut, this is a very decent release from experienced songwriters, who love every second of what they do. The time away has been put to great use, and more refreshing and confident than the rather traditional take on previous “The Calm Before”, the only way is up for CROW’S FLIGHT.

TRACKLIST

1. Forevermore 
2. Circle Of Pain 
3. The Mercenary 
4. Read Between The Lines 
5. The Final Sacrifice 
6. A Candle In The Storm 
7. The Path To Follow 
8. Sea Of Lies 
9. Darkness Within 
10. Can’t Be Undone 
11. Home By The Sea

LINEUP

Marko Kuikka – Vocals
Marko Vehmanen – Guitar
Erno Hanhisalo – Guitar
Marko “Kake” Karisto – Bass
Risto Raivio – Keyboards
Timo Rajala – Drums

RECORD LABEL

Ram It Down Records

LINKS

https://www.crows-flight.com
https://www.facebook.com/CrowsFlight/
https://www.instagram.com/crowsflightofficial/
https://twitter.com/crowsflight

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