Twins Crew – The Northern Crusade
Back when I was still a power metal padawan, I discovered an online streaming radio station called Epic Rock Radio. While I haven’t been back to that site in almost a year now, it was extremely important in my growth as a metalhead. I also made a good many friendships in the shoutbox of that webpage, including a certain former singer of Florida power metal band Seven Kingdoms.
Enter Twins Crew. One of the Epic Rock Radio (henceforth ERR) regulars, Roger, kept pumping up a band in which his brother-in-law was the drummer. Twins Crew, the band was called. ERR had one of their early EPs Twin Demon in its library at the time, and while there were a couple fun songs, the EP was nothing too impressive. A short time later, however, saw the Twins Crew guild debuting their self-released Judgement Night on ERR in full. I remember catching the tail end of the debut after getting home from work, but the little I heard indicated to me that Twins Crew had vastly improved from their EP days.
In the two years since, Twins Crew has signed on to Scarlet Records, and is about to release its second full length album, entitled The Northern Crusade. Building on the success and sound of the band’s previous record, Twins Crew offers us some ass-kicking heavy/power metal reminiscent of both Helloween and Iron Maiden. The album wastes no time with an intro track, instead electing to hit you hard right away with opener “Last Crusader”. The Helloween overtones are obvious immediately, but not in a way that has you wondering if you’re actually listening to the German band. Vocalist Andreas Larsson combines a typical metal gruffness with a singing style oddly similar to Bruce Dickinson, and he uses both to great effect.
The riffs on this album are varied enough to give each song a feel of its own, and the melodies are catchy. Even bass player Fredrik Hammar gets his moment to shine, with a couple solo sections throughout the disc. There is not a particularly weak song on the album; even ballad “Under The Morning Star” is still a nice little number. On the flip side, the strongest tracks are the album opener “Last Crusader”, the song “Kings Of Yesterday”, and the obligatory ‘metal song about metal’, “Loud And Proud”.
By no means is this a groundbreaking release, nor is it destined to be a classic, but it is a very strong sophomore effort for a band with an upside the size of Yngwie’s doughnut hoard. If you’re a fan of power metal, you’re going to want to buy this album. My only major gripe is that the playing time is simply too short. It almost feels like something’s missing, with the record clocking in at 44 minutes. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend giving this work a shot.
3.75 // 5