Crescent Shield - The Last Of My Kind


Year of Release: 2006
Label: Cruz Del Sur
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

I checked this out because the artwork captured my imagination. It looked like something from the stygian sections of that unforgettable animated adult flick called Heavy Metal. The music on this album could certainly go along with that bleak cartoon-ish quality. However, Crescent Shield is neither sci-fi nor a series of caricatures voiced by John Candy. More importantly, it's not the Progressive Rock concept album one would come to expect. Instead, they pick "Classic" Heavy Metal as their medium.

If I had to choose one band for comparison, I'd take a stab in the bloody vein of Iron Maiden. It's well-enacted and pulsates with the fierce aggression of the old school, but in the end it only supplies the listener with rudimentary rations. This makes for something that's primarily primitive and for the most part basic. In either case, it should have enough appeal to please a proggie.

I wouldn't say it's as dark and dire as the apocalyptic world that's portrayed on the cover, but it's edgy, irritable, and tense. The biggest problem is that it finds a simple groove, does nothing more, and then sticks incessantly with the seism. These tracks could have used an instrumental bridge on more frequent basis. Likewise, it's missing many other crucial ingredients. The power chords continue to repeat whilst I was yearning for a guitar solo or a drum fill. One would think a change in direction from time to time would be a prerequisite.

Please don't get the impression that I'm saying it's awful. To the contrary, "Slaves To The Metal Horde" had some chewy beats that could play hard in the big leagues. It's easily my favorite track, and if material such as this were consistently pitched, they'd be standing anxiously in the batters box or sitting patiently in the dugout. In other words, the band would be riding high in the market of the majors. Moreover, the agitations it enlists and the suds these palpitations ultimately cause are about as advantageous as a hit and run, and I only mean that in a good way. The point is that while they aren't all that diverse, they can at least get credit for squaring up, having proper technique, and swinging. The long and short of it is that they do each individual task well even if they don't bunt, balk, or steal.

As to the sound quality, I wouldn't go so far as to say it was amateur hour, but it could have benefited from a few more shakes of the sifter followed by a couple more tweaks on the equalizer. What's more, the mix might be clear, but still it's a little flat and tinny. I expect metal to reach out of the speakers, grab you around the throat, and wrench your neck until you are a rag doll. Rather, the production doesn't do the music justice. It holds it back, but I admit I've heard much worse. For that reason, I'm not going to harp on this any further. It's significantly better than bad and only a slim shade short of good. All in all, it's respectable and decent. Since it's somewhere over the middle, it's listenable and to be fair, it contains many aspects worthy of merit.

Will this be front and center at the next Heavy Metal Headbanger's Ball?

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest or speculate on this unlikely scenario, but if you drove past me with this music blaring, I'd give you a nod and the horns. Then again, I doubt I'd look back.

[Members of the band include ex-Onward vocalist Michael Grant and ex-Destiny's End guitarist Daniel DeLucie, who started the band as a side project; also includes drummer Craig Anderson (ex-Ignite/Engine) and bassist Melanie Sisneros (ex-New Eden/The Iron Maidens/Sinergy) -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Above Mere Mortals / Slaves To The Metal Horde / Rise If The Red Crescent Moon / Burn With Life / The Last Of My Kind / North For The Winter / The Path Once Chosen / The Great Devoid / Unfinished Ashes / Await The Champion / The Passing

Musicians:
Michael Grant - vocals
Daniel DeLucie - guitarist
Craig Anderson - drums
Melanie Sisneros - bass

Discography:
The Last Of My Kind (2006)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin US

Added: January 25th 2007
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Score:
Artist website: www.crescentshield.com
Hits: 1552
Language: english

  

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