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Review: Crystal Ball - LifeRider
Crystal Ball

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 52:19
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 13, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 2/5 (40%) (3 Votes)

Switzerland's Crystal Ball has been kicking around for almost 20 years with 2015's LifeRider their 8th studio album of crunchy, melodic and decidedly European Power Metal. Like the last album, Dawnbreaker, LifeRider is a solid collection of gritty guitars and catchy choruses that are just short of awesome. The performances are focused and the songwriting and performances tight but it's all a little too safe and formulaic. There's nothing wrong with songs like "Balls of Steel" or "Gods of Rock" but one look at those titles will have you searching the memory banks for which U.D.O. or Masterplan album you first saw them on. The digipak version I got from the label has three bonus tracks including a couple of Dio covers ("Sacred Heart" from his solo band and "The Sign of the Southern Cross" from Black Sabbath) that are in line with the rest of the album in that they are safe interpretations. LifeRider is fun but not truly essential.

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