without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Oh and what a great story it is! I happened by this band by accident when following various Youtube videos and when I saw the chunky, yet cute Sara Squadrani, I instantly fell in LOVE. Love I say!
STORY TIME. The album starts with a spoken intro by Sara. The intro tells of an evil Sorcerer (Sendor) who wants to find a mystical serd (sword, sorry Sara) so that he will have absolute power. The album has a concept that flows through each song, telling a story of the kings being united to stand up to Sendor and stop him from getting the serd (I am sorry).
So after the intro we are thrown right into "The Birth of Evil" which starts off our story, and on one HELL of a right foot. We start off with a very cool guitar intro leading us directly into a nice little fast climb up into a guitar wall before the story kicks off.
The beauty of the album is not in the story, but really in the collaboration of all the instruments. The main six musicians can be heard perfectly throughout the album and they even have a full choir! The keyboards and bass are also very audible along with two guitarists who sound like they are in a competition to play leads. The drumming is a little more involved than your typical power metal album (noting to cause a mind fuck, though) and Sara... oh my Sara, how awesome your vocals are.
As the album progresses (or should I say flows on, due to the synergy of all the songs), we are given nothing but nine completely solid tracks (and one track being your typical power metal filler). The only real issue I have with the album though comes from the progression itself. Wait...was I not just praising it? The issue is almost all of the songs repeat themselves. We heard the chorus a minimum of three times per most songs and the verses are even repeated! This is a no-no in my book when trying to tell an "epic" story. Why have ten tracks (at a decent length too!) when I am only tickled with the first part of the "Black Crystal Sword Saga"? There really won't be much of a saga at this point if any future albums continue with this song structure. What's the plus side in all this? We (usually) get to hear the same verse repeated with all new riffs and beats, which makes most songs a rediscovery of your favorite chorus/verse. More pluses:
great story, strong and powerful vocals, near perfect dual guitarsmenship, good drumming for power metal, audible bass...and the entire chorus.
The issues: the story is just not enough for me, the filler track (I loathe fillers), and the way sword is pronounced in the intro.
I am not usually a guy big on his power metal, but this album is a MUST OWN. The album is truly one of the best finds for me in a long time and is easily in my top power metal album picks. Sara's vocals, the story, and the interesting guitar work seals the deal for me. Go buy this album right now so that I may hope to hear more of the Black Crystal Serd Saga.
I <3 you Sara!