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Album Review

Unjustly qualified as one of the '80s best American-made progressive metal albums, Crimson Glory's Transcendence is actually one of the decade's best pure metal albums by an American band, period. Sure, they shared many sonic traits with fellow '80s metal bands like Queensrÿche and Fates Warning, but Crimson Glory's songwriting was relatively straightforward by comparison, and generally shied away from ultra-complex prog rock arrangements employed by their peers. In fact, barnstormers like "Lady of Winter" and "Red Sharks" are almost ordinary in their no-frills headbanging intensity, and even the band's more "progressive" material, such as the ambitious "Burning Bridges" and the very eclectic "Eternal World," don't venture out that far. Instead, Crimson Glory show commendable restraint in their songwriting, and it is singer Midnight who ends up drawing the most unwanted attention due to his now dated, painfully strident delivery. On the other hand, not even the intervening years have managed to dull the sheen of nuggets like the majestically sparse title track or the impressive "In Dark Places," which remains one of the group's crowning achievements, thanks to its instantly recognizable riff. And although their Iron Maiden influences sometimes get the best of them (the Eastern-flavored "Masque of the Red Death" is a near remake of "Powerslave"), Crimson Glory still prove their worth with this excellent release. Sadly, the band wouldn't capitalize on its promise, following it with the disappointing Strange and Beautiful.

Customer Reviews

Progressive Follow Up

CG's first album was a classic, and this, their second, a more than worthy follow up. It is still the over-driven 80s metal in the progressive Maiden / Queensryche mould, but they were clearly developing and moving on.

Musically, the duelling guitars and driving bass is more than accomplished. Personally, I feel the drum sound is a bit thin in parts, but that is no deal breaker. Midnight's vocals are in the operatic mould, and might be an acquired taste for some - being higher and sharper than Tate - but not too much so; personally I like them.

Song wise, there are some storming tracks on here. Not one is duff. Even the over commercial "Lonely" has its merits. Highlights must be In Dark Places (BRILLIANT), Masque and Lady Of Winter. Red Sharks is great but very much of it time lyrically, and Transcendence echoes Led Zep's No Quarter strongly, but otherwise it is strong throughout.

The next album didn't really work, and they faded away. This is, nonetheless, a very good 80s metal album - one that a fan of that basic genre will love.


Formed: 1982 in United States

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The progressive metal band Crimson Glory formed in Florida in 1982. Vocalist Midnight, guitarists Jeff Drenning and Ben Jackson, bassist Jeff Lords and drummer Dana Burnell had played together for over three years before Roadrunner signed the band and released the Crimson Glory album in 1986. The album received good reviews, prompting MCA to pick up the group for 1988's Transcendence. Burnell and Jackson were dumped soon after the album's release, and the duo later resurfaced as the heavy metal band...
Full bio
Transcendence, Crimson Glory
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 1988

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