Crystal Breed: The Place Unknown

A fresh German gem emerges.

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The debut album from this Hanover prog metal quartet may not throw up anything too out-there, but there’s more than enough on show to suggest they might be sticking around for a bit. Crystal Breed’s influences range across the decades. There are hints of 70s Cheap Trick in opening track Lies, and the tumultuous harmonies that open the title track hark back to the ear-boggling pomp that made Queen’s name in the 70s and into the 80s.

The band drop in some cracking solo work before the schmaltzy ballad Move kicks in. Niklas Turmann’s vocals are theatrical and varied enough throughout to remain interesting, but not so much that they begin to grate, and the mix of guitar and keyboards means there’s constant variation in the delivery of melody.

A Special mention has to go to Back T’your Mum, which is a punchy new wave which is a punchy new wave track with organs thrown in for good measure. It’s a bizarre title and a bizarre mixture of music but somehow they make it work. Indeed, it’s a great song in an album of good songs.

There are so many new bands emerging all the time, but on this evidence Crystal Breed have that little glint in the eye that sets them apart.