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   TWISTED TOWER DIRE
Crest Of The Martyrs
2003
Remedy Records
http://www.twisted-tower-dire.com


rating: 5/5

1. At Night
2. Some Other Time, Some Other Place
3. Axes & Honor
4. To Be A Champion
5. Infinitum
6. Fight To Be Free
7. Transfixed
8. By My Hand
9. Guardian Bloodline
10. The Reflecting Pool
11. The Witch's Eyes 2003
Twisted Tower Dire are one of those bands that still know how to make real heavy metal, but their (mostly) U.S. metal style has been larded with some European (read "happy") influences since their last album "The Isle Of Hydra". They've continued this at "Crest Of The Martyrs". I have to say I needed some time to get used to that (since I really can't stand happy metal), but once I did I realized it's a great album with high-quality songwriting and performance! Maybe I didn't play it enough, but somehow I never really got into "The Isle Of Hydra". Anyway, singer Tony Taylor is just about the best you can have in this genre with his clear and high-pitched voice, right up there with the likes of Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin. Amazing dude live as well! Musically there's nothing left to be desired for, a solid rhythm section and two damn good guitarists (Dave Boyd and Scott Waldrop) who know how to capture you with their Maiden-influenced twin-leads. But most importantly: most of the songs are really strong! They know well how to mold kickass riffs, melody, great verses and catchy choruses into songs that get stuck in your mind and don't lose your interest after 10 spins. Ok, so for me some of those choruses are too catchy (happy) - definitely too much influence of producer Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) there! - but they easily blow away any of those Hammerfall-ish bands out there! Luckily in most of the songs their roots are still there and I hope they keep it that way, they have their own sound that will hopefully bring them a lot of success.

The album starts with "At Night", one of my personal favorites. "Some Other Time, Some Other Place" doesn't do so much for me, but "Axes & Honor" is a hymn with a very catchy chorus, maybe not for me, but it will for sure be a favorite to many fans! "To Be A Champion" is faster again and more my thing. After the midpaced "Infinitum" we get a few catchier songs again, of which "Fight To Be Free" will sure be a favorite live. Another highlight for me is "Transfixed" (actually I thought it was called "In The Sign Of The Dragon" hehe). More the old U.S. style, even in the chorus, and it proves how awesome the songs can be, without... well you know;) "By My Hand" doesn't really stick in your head, but then we got the song with the catchiest chorus: "Guardian Bloodline". The album closes with the best song: "The Reflecting Pool". It starts with a beautiful acoustic part where Tony sings a bit lower, until the actual song, so to speak, kicks in a minute, a minute and a half, later. The digipack has the best possible bonus track: "The Witch's Eyes 2003", originally on their self-titled debut album and now re-recorded - it blows me away!

For the first time I have really been in doubt whether to give 4 or 5 Morrigans, I think the producer's influence takes some of the band's brilliance away, but at the same time, it's still a gem that is a must for all true metalfans out there - so what the hell, here's another 5/5... hard work pays off and these guys deserve it!

submitted by Marlies 17.09.2003

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rating 1 - 5 Morrigans
5 = awesome, 4 = good, 3 = average, 2 = keep practising, 1 = sell your gear!
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