Halford - Crucible review
|Release date:||June 2002|
01. Park Manor
03. One Will
05. Handing Out Bullets
06. Hearts Of Darkness
10. Wrath Of God
11. Weaving Sorrow
13. Trail Of Tears
14. She [Limited edition bonus]
15. Fugitive [Limited edition bonus]
16. Rock The World Forever [Japanese bonus]
17. In The Morning [Japanese bonus]
Taking Heavy Metal into new extremes Halford shows up with his 2002 album 'Crucible' the successor to the major successful Resurrection. With elements of nu-metal, a nightmare of distorted sounds, furious drumming parts and from time to time antihormonic singing or his famous high-pitched screams, Halford takes us right before the gates of hell and beyond. This album is very far away from what we heard on 'Resurrection', yet you can hear some muscial type of allusions to Pantera maybe Slayer and Korn, or maybe nothing of those and let's say it's just another inventive or innovative type of heavy metal. Is it still heavy metal, or may it already be something else?
'Park Manor' the intro to 'Crucible' the title track already shows what is meant to be heard, we are taken into a very dark realm, a world of aggressions, violence and killing (ok only in our imaginations, but that can be worse than reality). The atmosphere provided is deadly and disgusting. This is mirrored in the artwork on 'Crucible', i.e. the booklet looks as if it was full of runes running orthogonal to the lyrics, embedded are pics of the band members in their most strangest looks, so you get the impression of looking at something unholy. The front and backside are brown like a piece of old leather and Halford himself is depicted twice (once more if you count the band pic with the dirt filter), once standing with a whip in his hand and bullet belts on his arms and waist. On the cd's backside you find him in a leather chair or rather a throne of strangely ornamented wood and leather, looking like some evil ruler or megalomaniacs seat, with Halord leaning on it in yet another leathersuit that even the bikers from hell will fear (or maybe I'm exaggerating on this point) Anyway, the music is taken to the first highlight 'One Will' about a battle between tow gods, very aggressive, but I have to admit the most aggressive tracks are the real highlights on 'Crucible'. 'Betrayal' is one good track movin to highlight number two 'Handing Out Bullets'. In the beginning of 'Heart Of Darkness' you might think about Korn playing a song here, but it's still Halford in one of the most harsh ways heavy metal has seen since it's birth. The following are less interesting until it comes to 'Wrath Of God' to me the most aggressive song Halford delivered here, is among the greatest of this album. The amazing the heights of this album the tiring the rest of the songs are. Up to 'Wrath Of God' I had given a 7 to this album, but the flaws dominate the remaining tracks and on the special edition these are two more, named 'She' and 'Fugitive'. The last five tracks force the rating down to a 6.6.
Concluding 'Crucible' is not a bad album at all, but it's full of contradictions, that do not only include highs and lows, but the thinking about will you like it or hate it more, is it beautiful or disgusting? Is it still heavy metal or is it some more extreme genre? What are the lyrics meant to say? Questions that are left open, as well as for yourself: Will you listen to Halford's Crucible or will you not?
|Let me throw down the facts on the table at the very beginning of this review. This album is mainly bullshit. It has some great moments, which are really great actually, but 70% of it is crap.
Anyway, despite having already said the most essential I'll dig a bit more into the details. At its core this is mainly a Heavy Metal album, yet…it's kind of strange and quite hard to describe. I think you'll have to listen for yourself if you want to know for sure. Here's my try at explaining what this album is exactly. Next to Heavy Metal which this album mainly is, there are also some traces of more "modern" genres. I might even go so far as to say it sometimes has a Melodic Death Metal sound to it. I mean, seriously, try listening to "Hearts Of Darkness" and telling me that the beginning doesn't sound almost exactly like Amon Amarth! Furthermore, there are a few minor metalcorish elements, some Thrash Metal and maybe even some tiny traces of grunge. You decide if this is something good or bad, for me personally, it isn't.
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