Confessions of the Maker
(Heavy Fidelity) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Sweden's Crystal Eyes have been developing their sound for well over a decade, and their effort is well-noted on "Confessions of the Maker". The concept here is very old-school heavy metal, consisting of all the trademark qualities of such a release; expressive clean vocals, sometimes given a rough edge and at other times turning to a high-pitched drawn-out power metal cry; guitar leads and solos atop Judas Priest-like rhythms and gallops. Perhaps unintentionally, you can also pick up on a few more contemporary influences including Stratovarius and, to some degree, Hammerfall. At all moments, the northern European character is evident, especially when the low-lying keyboards fill in the sound.
Certainly the vocals are one of the selling points on this disc, as Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) can scream high notes with the best of them. But don't get too used to it, since Daniel has since departed the band, and (as of press time) has not yet been replaced. I've gotta say though, after hearing the final track with vocals by main songwriter Michael Dahl, I wouldn't mind hearing a full album with his capable voice. While not reaching for the higher notes, it is still clean and powerful, performing at a more deep and soulful range, giving a uniquely dark quality to the song.
Even though this album was released on a relatively unknown label, they manage to achieve a suitable production value, and produce quality songs. There's nothing distincly original about the record, but it should find a good home for those who just can't get enough of this sound!