Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen (Cruz Del Sur) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen (Cruz Del Sur)

Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen CD ReviewDoes anyone remember the movie "Airheads" where the S.W.A.T. guy tries embarrassing Chazz (Brendan Fraser) by telling the crowd what a D&D dork he was in high-school? When hardcore came around in the early 80's, many of prog-rock geeks tried to quickly distance themselves from their recent past (my older sister will swear that she was born clad in black and listening to Joy Division). Crescent Shield takes a major slice of 70's style prog-rock (Yes and Rainbow are some of the bands that come to mind) and combines it with the metal influences of bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater.

Los Angeles' Crescent Shield released their second disc, The Stars of Never Seen, early this summer on Cruz Del Sur and the first pressing comes with a bonus DVD of the band's performance at the Keep It True festival in 2008.

Crescent Shield's new release follows their well-received 2006 debut, The Last of My Kind, and shows the band's maturing song writing heading in an epic power-metal direction. Lyrically, most of the songs are Edgar Allan Poe-like stories of the macabre. These range from "The Bellman", which tells the tale of the ghost of a mate, a sailor on a ship that sank due to the arrogance of the crew who is now cursed and trapped in a port of call in the early 18th century to "Tides of Fire" (which is based on the novel “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller Jr.) which tells the story of what happens when a civilization experiences a worldly holocaust and then gets stuck in a primitive state. With a number of the songs clocking in at over five minutes, vocalist Michael Grant has the opportunity to build a virtual world for each of these stories. The band follow suit and the music ebbs and flows across this disc. There is the raw aggression of songs like "My Anger" and the twisting guitar solos on "Under Cover of Shadows" which are then offset by the melancholy and heartfelt guitar, bass and mandolin work in “Temple of The Empty”. The disc ends with the epic song "Lifespan" which made its live premiere at the Keep It True festival last year (which you can check out on the bonus live DVD).

Crescent Shield's latest disc should strike a positive chord with fans of traditional metal and epic/power metal. Long after the flavor of the month and one-hit-wonder bands have been forgotten, I expect Crescent Shield's music to stand the test of time.

Crescent Shield's MySpace Profile