Russian metallers Crimson Blue are tagged as nu art metal, another arguably unnecessary musical label which has popped up in recent times as bands try to find a unique corner of their very own from where they can be noticed. It is not the most inspiring of terms to be honest but if you dismiss the band because of it then you would be making one mighty mistake as the Moscow quintet has released one of the best releases of the past twelve months. Fusing the most essential nu-metal grooves with the dazzling splendour of symphonic metal and the bewitching majesty of art rock, the band has created an album where imagination and inventive originality is a raging passion. It is a sensational release which at times is a familiar heart borne friend and in other moments sheer innovation igniting aural rapture whilst leaving a stirring sonic balm over the senses.
As well just having released their album Innocence the band has signed a management deal with GlobMetal Promotions and you can only feel things are primed to explode into world recognition for a band which has its seeds back in around 2007. Formed by vocalist and keyboard player Dominica “Dani” Hellstrom and guitarist Iggy Hans the band started out under the name Tragic Raven. The band merged the musical interest and passions of the members to forge a new and adventurous style with early songs holding a Tool like sound to their presences. The first couple of years saw instability with many line-up changes until the spring on 2009 where the found that constant to their core and re-emerged as Crimson Blue. As interest in the band grew across the internet and from their strong live performances, the band set about working on debut album Innocence. As a self-released CDR and download, the album came out in the closing eyes of December last year leading the band to even greater interest not only from fans but labels too. Summer of 2012 gave the album a proper CD release as recognition fired up further and with the new management deal in place the band are set to turn 2013 their own shade of hue.
Taking sounds and styles across the seventies through to the nineties with plenty of modern energies and thoughtfulness, the five piece of Dani Hellstrom, Iggy Hans, Stan Lee (guitar), Andrew Barique (drums), and Alex Verge (bass), the band since the recording going through another line-up change, s created a release which echoes the likes of Korn, Devin Townsend, Audioslave, and Nightwish with strong whispers of classic art rock bands. It is a stunning sound which plays in the heart so much more powerfully and enjoyably than it looks in print.
As soon as the cold kisses of Iceland crystalize on the ear soon speared by a dramatic piano, attention is focused in only one direction and as soon as the melodic flames and immediately jaw dropping bass sound of Verge prowls within the brewing sonic weaves nothing comes between thoughts, emotion, and song. Settling into an emotive breath with the wonderful and potent vocals of Hellstrom covering the still formidable basslines and melodramatic keys, the track just mesmerises whilst caressing tenderly with symphonic beauty and warm melodic elegance. It is an exceptional entrance into what emerges as an unpredictable and eclectic release. The song at times makes muscular suggestions through rhythms and riffs to ensure an air of confrontation is never too far away setting one up perfectly for its successor, especially with its closing Halloween like tingle of keys and inciting acidic guitar rub.
L.M.A. is outstanding; a track which though challenged throughout holds ‘best of’ honours. Its initial scorched rock swagger is soon ripped up into a raptorial encounter of bruising riffs and a groove which gnaws at the senses like those classic ones Korn used to unleash. The vocal storm of expressive vocals and oppressive heavy chewing riffs and thumping rhythms plays like a mix of Animal Alpha and The Faceless for further irresistible flavour to the staggering recipe.
Tracks like the sinew twisting Flax and the masterful Nagual with its progressive enterprise wrapping around the persistently pulsating growl of the song transport one into further thrilling and unpredictable diverse fiery engagements. Each and every song can be acclaimed with those same qualities, the blend of melodic imagination and creative invention breath taking at times and always enthralling. Further pinnacles come with the sinister and hypnotic H.U. Lab, a track bringing the key essences of Meshuggah, Opeth, and Karnivool together for thoroughly compelling rewards, and the epic emotive force that is Haesitatio. Every song deserves a mention though, each rippling with immense craft, inventive songwriting, and pure skill from the surging and glorious vocals of Hellstrom and her senses wrapping keys, the continually adventurous guitars, and the guiding rhythms of drums and that permanently delicious bass.
Innocence is aural excellence and Crimson Blue only deserving of the fullest acclaim. The recommendation that all should go and discover this triumphant release cannot be shouted loud enough.
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