Review Summary: Having Vocal Jesus on here gives this album an automatic point and a half boost. Good thing the music is pretty rad too.
Have I reviewed enough power metal albums yet" I will answer that question by saying no; well, at least until I finish up the whole Daniel Heiman discography, I will finally be done for a while. There is one more album left with him at the helm of vocal duties and that is Crystal Eyes Confession of the Maker. Daniel made a guest appearance on a previous album, and after his departure from Lost Horizon, they wanted him to record vocals for an entire album. They couldn't get him to join the band permanently as he formed Heed during the recording process. This review is not about my love of Daniel Heiman though, actually that's a lie, but I am here to review the entire album Confessions of the Maker.
Let me first start by saying that this isn't a groundbreaking power metal album. Everything on this disc has been done multiple times before to the point where the predictability drags the flow a little. This doesn't stop the album from being a great, fun, and happy-go-lucky power metal album with rubbish lyrics that the genre has garnered a reputation for producing such albums. Now for the actual music.
Like most power metal bands, and metal bands in general, Crystal Eyes uses a duel guitar system. Both guitarists play off of each other and harmonize for a lot of the album. The styling reminds me a lot of Lost Horizon. Panic White Wolves
, and Revolutions of the Shadowland
sound like they could've been b-tracks off of Awakening the World. To actually not compare this band to Lost Horizon, one has to listen to the self titled track. The riff at 1:17 is simple, but extremely effective; the rest can be said for the rest of the track as well. Terminal Voyage
and The Fool's Ballet
both have different sounds too. The latter sounds like something from the hair-metal 80's era, while the former's verse riffs are some of the best on the entire disc.
The drumming is pretty typical for power metal in that it is just there to keep a beat. As for the bass player Claes Wikander, all I can say is holy crap it's awesome. Again, the layering of the bass in the music is influenced by Lost Horizon. The entire album has a very bassy feel to it. What's great though is that the bass gets a couple little entrance solos in The Fool's Ballet
and Revolutions of the Shadowland
Now we reach the part of the band that we've waiting this long to hear about
: the vocals. One can just read my review of Lost Horizon, Heed, and even the averageness of Lavett to know my fanboyish attraction for who I describe as vocal Jesus. I'll state it again that Daniel Heiman is the greatest singer I have ever laid my ears upon, and no one can ever top him. The things he did with Lost Horizon, and some extent Heed, is still mindboggling two years after first listening to the band. Comparing this to those isn't really fair though, as he doesn't reach those highs. This frown face moment is easily explained. The lyrics and music for this album were written by Mikael Dahl before Daniel was even approached. Dahl was the singer for Crystal Eyes up until this point, and the music was for his vocal range instead of Daniel's. This still does not mean that the vocals don't impress. The little bridge verse in Northern Rage
is still face melting, especially at that "FOREVERRRRRRRRR!!" part. The Terror
is just phenomenal too, and it shows his range perfectly. The twenty second section from 5:30-5:50 is one of my favorite Heiman moments. The Charioteer
, Terminal Voyage
, oh hell the entire album is awesome vocally.
So why is this not more epic and deserving of a higher rating than I gave it" Well, half the songs are just plain boring, and Silent Angel I am talking to you (even though that shouldn't even be on here as Daniel doesn't even sing that song.) Some of the highlights I stated earlier are just that, highlights. For instance, half of the seven minute song Terror
is just average, but is saved by cool guitars and vocals. Confessions of the Maker as a whole is a fun power metal album to listen to on an occasional basis. The harmonized and melodic guitars to go with an audible bass makes this a pleasure listening to musically. Having Daniel Heiman as the lead man makes this a pleasure to listen to vocally.