CRYSTAL BALL – Time Walker

CRYSTAL BALL - Time Walker


Nuclear Blast
Release date: August 29, 2005

User Review
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Crystal Ball from Switzerland is out with their fifth studio album in seven years. That’s quite productive. Throughout their career, the band has focused on Melodic Power Metal, and Time Walker makes no exception. It’s all guitar driven, big and bombastic, with catchy choruses loaded with forceful backing vocals.

Singer Mark Sweetney’s voice is an eminent tool for Power Metal duty, and drummer Marcel Sardella has by now long broken the code for how to beat a Metal track up and forward. The opening track, “Digital World,” is a stand out example of both these efforts.

Crystal Ball scores an extra point by their modest and reasonable use of keyboards. Too many Power Metal bands tend to shower their songs in way too much superfluous keyboard crap. String man, Tom Graber, who also is in charge of the keys, manages the noble art of knowing when not to play.

Time Walker holds a concept where each individual song deals with a historical event. To this date, most concept albums probably have meant more to the composer’s process of writing and maintaining a focus throughout the proceedings, rather than to the listeners. However, various parts of the history of mankind have this time around inspired Crystal Ball to pen down a strong fifth release.

Not that they are going to achieve world domination with this album, but they have at least not weakened their position. They have also not weakened the position of Power Metal in general. Alright, they might get close by the way they are dressing (check the band picture below) — one might wonder why the band members are not able to spot the outdated and parodic aspects of their visual appearance themselves.

Anyway, the album sure contains a large enough number of strong tracks to refresh the band’s live set. Along with the aforementioned opening track, songs like “He Came To Change The World” (A clever portrayal of the life of Jesus Christ), “Mozart Symphony,” “Fallen From Grace,” “Powerflight,” and “The Eye Of The Storm” all represent reasons why fans of the genre should check out Time Walker. Tracks like “Walk Through Time,” the cheesy “Celebration,” and the mid-tempo “Talking To The Walls” represent the opposite. Anyway, right now it is hard to think of any other band of the genre that is as fit as Crystal Ball to keep up the Swiss Power Metal legacy.


Mark Sweetney – vocals
Scott Leach – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Graben – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Dan Schällibaum – bass, backing vocals
Marcel Sardella – Drums


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