The Stars of Never Seen
Del Sur 2009
Progressive power metal sweeps out of California on Crescent Shield's second full length album. Bombastic and confident riffs are honed into a sword of epic steel on the album's impressive opener, Under Cover of Shadows. Michael Grant's vocals are glorious in their power, range and classic metal style. The track brings to mind the gripping qualities of early Manilla Road but with a modern flair. Melodic leads and simple soloing bring the song to a close as galloping drums and layered vocals amp um the intensity. An almost power thrash ferocity explodes out into space as the Grand Horizon rises like an interstellar rocket launching into eternity. A speedy tempo and grand guitar melodies a forged into a weapon of mystical power metal with a spinning guitar solo and Michael Grant's primal voice forming the glistening tip of the spear. Clean and crystalline guitar serve as a backdrop for glory seeking vocals before the other instruments slip into the fray on Tides of Fire. The tempo increases while the vocals ascend like an archangel. I feel however that several tracks overshoot the mark when they try to become a little too "intelligent" and "epic" such as The Endurance and Temple of the Empty. They just seem to lack the power and focus as they get bogged down in their own self-indulgence. The songwriting on The Stars of Never Seen is designed to pull your ears and eyes skyward. Some songs succeed at this better than others. With their sophomore effort Crescent Shield have constructed an album of epic power metal that recalls the earlier days of traditional heavy metal and avoids the cheesiness of the modern European guitar noodling scene.