When you see a band with a name like Crystal Viper, the musical style that comes to mind immediately is Power Metal. This band classifies themselves as straight-out Heavy Metal and that’s probably more accurate. There are some similarities to Power Metal, but a lot of the genre stereotypes are missing. They don’t have the same pretentious air, virtuoso guitar playing and soaring vocals that are all hallmarks of Power Metal. Musically, this has more of an old-school Metal sound. It kind of reminds me of old Dio, or maybe Accept, but with some Thrash influences. The focus of the music is on delivering rocking riffs and memorable soloing and they mostly succeed at doing it. The vocalist, Marta Gabriel, has a raw, semi-melodic style delivery but she also hits the highs. Her technique somewhat reminds me of the US band Possession where the singer used lower-end vocals most of the time but he would occasionally belt out an ear-splitting banshee wail. It isn’t quite King Diamond (King’s falsetto was more dynamic), but it’s effective. I’d say that Marta’s highs are more in line with Nasty Ronnie (Nasty Savage), for those of us who remember him. I don’t know if this is a bonus track or not, but there is even a cover of a Vader song (“Tyrani Piekiel”), which is an odd choice. Both Crystal Viper and Vader are from Poland, but the similarities end there. Crystal Viper does a good job of giving the song their own twist, though. It doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the album, but it isn’t so different that you question its inclusion. If you’re a fan of old Metal, you’ll find plenty to like about Crimen Excepta. This isn’t the most original, groundbreaking, music you’ve ever heard but it does rock hard enough to make it a worthwhile listen.
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