Boguslaw Balcerak’s Crylord – Blood of the Prophets
Sometimes, it really is unfortunate to be a talented guitarist in the 21st century. Boguslaw Balcerak, whose last name is now conveniently on my copy/paste board, is a remarkably talented guitarist. He plays crunchy riffs and blazing solos, and I can’t say enough for how great Mark Boals and Co. sound for the vocal department. From a musical standpoint, this album sounds GREAT.
Why is this unfortunate? For all the talent, I am thoroughly unimpressed. Mr. Balcerak is a great guitarist, of very high technical ability. Everything is in place for what you could expect from his guitar work. What’s the problem now? That’s it. He meets expectations for a neo-classical shredder. At the end of the album, I don’t feel like anything noteworthy has been accomplished on guitar. That for me is really the story of the album. While on closer examination of his guitar solos, they are really something else, I feel like the music and production fails to really bring that out and highlight it. The songwriting is again, merely good and stereotypical of the genre.
The album in fact, seems to be modeled at least somewhat after Rhapsody of Fire, except without the massively infectious choruses, or super-dramatic elements. Intro tracks are great, and for power metal I love them, because they establish drama. They make albums sweep and swing, and explode. The Ante Bellum Overture only serves as neo-classical shred wankery. Very professional and effective wankery. Blood of the Prophets has crunchy riffs, and pretty good transitions, the chorus is melodic and I suppose a touch catchy, but as the next 10 songs pass, I couldn’t really make too many mental distinctions.
It’s entirely possible that this album is a “Grower”, where a listener, upon investing 10-20 listens starts to see the real amazing brilliance of the album, and the subtlety of the composition through complex passages, it certainly has the technical excellence to have that potential. However, in my multiple journeys through the album, I have not gotten that impression whatsoever. I was excited for Mark Boals contributions to this album, but this is getting filed where so many albums that come across me go “Good enough for an enjoyable listen, but not worth continued listens”.
Dagg’s Rating: 3.25/5