Strange and beautiful 2. Promise land 3. Love and dreams 4. The chant 5. Dance on fire 6. Song for angels 7. In the mood 8. Starchamber 9.
Deep inside your heart Make you love me Far away Total Time: Essentially, this album is all about Midnight. Since the screaming leads are gone and the rhythm section has been twisted, only Midnight still shines. However, he has reeled in his King Diamond high voice, which has its pros and cons. Second guitarist Ben Jackson left after Transcendence , and bandleader Jon Drenning apparently seemed content to let Jackson take Crimson Glory's signature dual-lead sound with him, opting to take sole six-string duties here.
Drummer Dana Burnell, who only sort of played on Transcendence anyway, also left and was replaced with Ravi Jakhotia, who a isn't a drum machine and b has a much different style than that of the parts the Transcendence drum machine or, on the first album, Burnell himself was playing.
Midnight, for his part, was always more of a folk singer than a metal singer at heart--just look at his subsequent solo output. Take the shift in personnel, throw in the desire to try something a bit new, and you end up getting a mishmash of everyone's ideas that doesn't quite please anyone. In later times, Drenning went on record to say Strange and Beautiful was effectively a Midnight solo album, and Midnight himself didn't even stay in the band long enough to even go on the following tour.
Ahh, the dangers of compromise. So, what results from that compromise? It's actually kind of hard to pin down what Strange and Beautiful is trying to do, which is why we see so much reflexive snickering at the first word of the title or lazy labeling of the music as "glam," just because anyone accused of selling out in gets lumped in with "glam.
Sure, we've got songs called "In The Mood" and "Make You Love Me," and the lyrics of those two songs read as glam, but that's about as far as it goes. Nothing on here is even as glam as Transcendence 's "Lonely," though the single, "The Chant," kind of tries.
The man was many things, but there was nothing glam about Midnight. If this music is not the glam it's accused of being, and it's not the band's previously pioneered powerprog, then what is it?
The sound on Strange and Beautiful reaches in several directions--something that is, in its own strange heh, there it is way, more "progressive" than the fairly unified, monolithic sound of the prior two discs. In one sense, its more hard rock-oriented sound is a nod backward to the '70s, as if they've traced the famed "In Dark Places" riff all the way back to its roots in Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir.
If they sold out, they sold out to , not Whether the album looks back to the '70s, forward to the mid-'90s, or even touches on the band's metallic past, the one unifier is Midnight's vocals. No, they aren't the crazy wails we got on Crimson Glory or Transcendence , though he's still quite high-pitched at times and overall admirably rangy. Still, even taken out of the mystical realm of power metal, Midnight sounds as otherworldly as ever here.
While retrospective focus on Midnight tends to revere him for his role in popularizing high-pitched wails and overall prowess, the man was really never all that much of a technician, just an incredibly emotive folk singer who happened to be able to hit high notes cleanly too.
And so that aura of mystery that surrounds the first two albums stubbornly persists here, even though the music below it is considerably more modest in scope and ambition. This has the effect of pulling everything into a vaguely psychedelic mode. Beyond that, the thing that really saves Strange and Beautiful is that Drenning and Midnight are both great at what they do, and while the overall musical direction here isn't optimal, neither of them has run out of ideas or passion.
In a lot of ways, the progressive edge of Crimson Glory is still there, as the song structures are still anything but straightforward in many cases, especially the title track and "Starchamber.
The singer's delivery, as noted before, is impassioned as ever and, due to the nature of the material, even more hypnotic than before. While his highest register is missed somewhat, songs of this nature don't really call for it anyway.
Drenning's guitar leads actually sound like guitars on this album, which is nice after the weird, flangy leads on Transcendence , and he gets more room to wield the axe than you might think given the album's reputation. The title track and the excellent "Deep Inside Your Heart" both have great solos.
Outside of solos, though, his presence is more subdued; some catchy riffing pops up here and there, but it's devoid of the same inspiration as the band's previous material. Again, this isn't the sort of music that needs five good riffs a song, so if you don't go in looking for the Transcendence sound, you don't feel it as much as you'd think, but it is still a loss nonetheless. Jakhotia's drumming, as noted before, has some world music elements at times; otherwise, he's competent but relatively faceless here.
The only other notable thing about his performance is really that his snare is almost obnoxiously loud here, and I say that as somebody who generally likes loud snares.
Bassist Jeff Lords, always the band's forgotten member, has his usual tasteful lines that subtly move the songs in positive directions, and he is mixed quite high. I feel like I've spent the majority of this review fiercely defending Strange and Beautiful , to the point where I may be running the risk of overshooting my target.
Make no mistake, it is a big step down. This is music that never aspires to reach the heights of Transcendence , and so it never does, no matter how well-executed it is.
The production is better than previous albums, but the instruments still sound frustratingly hazy, but that kind of meshes with Midnight's voice anyway, so maybe it's just as well. But Dream Theater fans have the luxury to dismiss Falling Into Infinity a similarly-misunderstood release because they have twelve okay, eleven Given the comparative brevity of Crimson Glory's run, it's wiser here to try to meet this album on its terms, because frankly it was Midnight's swan song when it came to metal or even rock music.
If you go in without the burden of the band's past and just want to hear one of prog metal's most legendary vocalists sing good material, the album delivers pretty consistently. Perhaps Drenning's comment is right, then--the album is best appreciated as a Midnight album rather than one that has to carry the burden of the Crimson Glory back catalog on its slumping shoulders. As a Midnight album, it works precisely because it's hard not to get caught up in his trance, whether on the touching ballads, the psychedelia of the extended pieces, or the alternative-prog-glam-pop-metal hybrids.
Such awkward genre mashups are indeed a strange place to go from the, er, transcendent achievements of the band's past, but with Midnight at the helm and plenty of good Drenning ideas behind him, Strange and Beautiful lives up to both halves of its title more often than not. This album was special in many ways. It marked a stylistic departure into somewhat of a Queensryche meets Robert Plant- esque musical style. There is definitely a lot of heart and soul poured into this record by the core members of the band, Jon Drenning and Midnight.
The way I acquired this CD is quite a funny story actually. I was up in Escanaba MI, Upper Peninsula and I stopped into this record store and browsed through their selection with my dad who used to work for and knew a lot of the guys in CG. But after a disappointing run through of their selection, I returned to him and he had, what I would later find out is a German imported Digi-pak, gold CD copy that fetches quite a pretty penny nowadays.
I popped it into my CD player and I must tell you that I was not all that impressed by it. It was not the CG that I knew and loved. But after a few days, it began to grow on me. Y no puedo por menos que aportar mi granito de arena. Tal vez me anime y suba alguno!! El Ten lo rescataba hace poco no me termina del todo al igual que el segundo de Nelson, comparado con el debut se me queda cojo.
Este disco y yo no nos entendemos. Una de las primeras bandas que me llegaron a la patata fueron Crimson Glory y su debut. Con poco bagaje musical, normal. Algunos mencionados en tu rese Rob. El panorama del heavy estaba chungo, muchos le dieron la espalda y hubo una gran crisis de identidad entre los que se quedaron.
No entiendo ni veo logradas estas mezcolanzas de hard rock de los 70 con moderneces a lo Extreme, The Cult o Guns. Que en aquel momento ya andaba con problemas. Siempre quedaran en el recuerdo por sus dos primeros trabajos. Gracias Rob por traer tanto y tan bueno aunque este no me llegue a la patata.
Far Away Disco completo. The initiated will detect the clarion influences of their youth. Life is so short so why listen to carbon copies when you can make listening an adventure.
Buy this formidable masterpiece and unless you are tonedeaf you will Love it, dearly One person found this helpful.
Love this band. They can really do good music no matter which route they go musically. Midnight will be missed. Rest in piece Midnight. Good clear sound. Awesome band!!! The album clearly sounds like they were jumping on the GnR bandwagon because its so stylistically different. I didn't like this album the first few times I listened to it, but I completely changed my mind once I accepted the new direction. See all reviews from the United States. Top international reviews.
Translate all reviews to English. Crossroads at midnight. This was, and still very much is, a very big leap in direction from the band. Well, to a certain extent, that assertion is pretty accurate. This album is ultimately a totally different marriage of jazz, folk, tribal metal laced with melodic and commercial leanings. Surely this is to add up to the biggest musical heresy of the worst kind doesn't it Not only does the total sound have warmth, soul and energetic spirit; the forumlas within actually work superbly, giving a fusion of consistent majestic quality.
If one is to listen closely, it's possible to hear the traces of inspiration such as Black Sabbath, Dio, Fates Warning, Queensryche, Stratovarius Closest we are likely gonna get is probably classic AOM with about a million other possibilities:- and I use that term generically, as it is no doubt a fantastic album' but I am not sure wether this content quite reaches the influential-ness required as to be seen in the light as classics such as the previous two albums.
That said, a substantial hiatus awated the band once the dust settled, and I continue to uphold the belief that this CD was not well appreciated at the time and it begun the long period of uncertainty regarding the band.
For me, the album of 'Astronomica' was the real tradgedy regarding this band. The CD possibly looses a little momentum around track 6 with the weak ballad of "Song For Angels"; but this remains the only weak song on the album, and the note is left on an overall, very positive and impressionable one.
It doesn't shift mountains, but this is in no shape or form a selloutCrimson Glory discography (all) The Chant () The Official Demo Series Vol. 8 () > Strange and Beautiful Crimson Glory. Type: Full-length Release date: June 24th, Catalog ID: RR 2 Label: Roadrunner Records Format: CD Reviews: 6 reviews .