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CRIMSON GLORY

Progressive Metal • United States


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Crimson Glory biography
Heavy metal prog band hailing from Sarasota, Florida, whose style is similar to that of QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING. The band started off as BEOWULF back in 1982, when bassist Jeff Lords got together with guitarists Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson. They then found in the person of the enigmatic 'Midnight' an astoundingly powerful vocalist whose ear-shattering screams are often compared to those of Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE). Over the course of 13 years and throughout various personnel changes, they have released four albums.

Their first two, the eponymous "Crimson Glory" (1986) and "Transcendence" (1988), are considered their cult classics. Combining the twin-axe harmonies of IRON MAIDEN and the melodic grace of QUEENSRYCHE, they feature relatively straightforward song writing, where the band generally shies away from complex arrangements. What stands out are guitarist John Drenning's unique lead style and axe-slinging play, Jeff Lords' intricate bass lines that give the music a good swagger and groove, and front man Midnight's pure steel voice. Their other two albums, however, are dispensable. "Strange and Beautiful" (1991) only lives up to the first half of its title and "Astronomica" (1999) is a poor attempt at recapturing past glories (with a new vocalist who is more likely to send you running).

Fans of QUEENSRYCHE, and to a lesser extent DREAM THEATER, may want to check out the band's first two albums.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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TranscendenceTranscendence
Roadrunner Archive 2017
Audio CD$11.42
$10.29 (used)
TranscendenceTranscendence
Import
Roadracer Records 2001
Audio CD$11.07
$9.86 (used)
Astronomica (CD DIGIPAK & bonus CD import)Astronomica (CD DIGIPAK & bonus CD import)
Audio CD$29.53
$22.95 (used)
Strange & BeautifulStrange & Beautiful
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Massacre Germany 2006
Audio CD$8.94
$9.52 (used)
Astronomica (+2 Bonus Tracks)Astronomica (+2 Bonus Tracks)
Import
King 1999
Audio CD$99.99
$18.34 (used)
In Dark Places...1986 - 2000In Dark Places...1986 - 2000
Box set · Import
METAL MIN2 2010
Audio CD$51.77
$83.10 (used)
AstronomicaAstronomica
Spitfire 1999
Audio CD$24.60
$7.99 (used)
AstronomicaAstronomica
Import
Massacre Germany 2006
Audio CD$55.00
$27.42 (used)
Crimson GloryCrimson Glory
Remastered · Extra tracks · Limited Edition
Massacre Germany 2008
Audio CD$89.23
$22.00 (used)
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CRIMSON GLORY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CRIMSON GLORY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 61 ratings
Crimson Glory
1986
4.05 | 140 ratings
Transcendence
1988
2.20 | 34 ratings
Strange and Beautiful
1991
2.90 | 33 ratings
Astronomica
1999

CRIMSON GLORY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CRIMSON GLORY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CRIMSON GLORY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
In Dark Places... 1986-2000
2010

CRIMSON GLORY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.86 | 5 ratings
Lonely
1989

CRIMSON GLORY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Astronomica by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.90 | 33 ratings

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Astronomica
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars It's been eight years since Crimson Glory's last release, 1991's 'Strange and Beautiful'. The band had made quite a name for themselves at the start of their career, but all their momentum was cut off by "the 90's". Music trends shifted and Crimson Glory, like so many others, failed to remain relevant. However, the band never faltered and eventually returned with 1999's 'Astronomica'.

While 'Strange and Beautiful' wasn't a terrible album, it didn't quite achieve the success of its predecessors, mostly due to the dying metal scene at the time, and the fact that the band tried being more experimental with their approach to songwriting. Thankfully, the boys are back on top form here, with 'Astronomica' going back to a full-on metal assault. Stylistically similar to 'Transcendence', the only major difference here, besides having a different vocalist, is a more beefed up production, which makes the Glory sound heavier than they ever had before.

The album has been scrutinized for its faults however. Most notable is that the drumming is all machine-programmed, a 20-minute police radio broadcast which closes the album off, but wastes a hell of a lot of time in doing so, and then there's vocalist Wade Black! Former vocalist Midnight left some impossible shoes to fill, and it's understandable why most fans weren't keen on Black's efforts, but for what it's worth, I think he does a good job and his voice suits the heavier sound of the band.

If you haven't completely given up with Crimson Glory by now, then you'll find some nice little gems on this album. Songs such as 'War of the Worlds', 'New World Machine', 'Cyber Christ', 'Cydonia' and the title track itself, can all hold their own with the bands previous material, and while it's fair to say this will never be their best release, it's still a worthy addition to any metal collection.

 Strange and Beautiful  by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.20 | 34 ratings

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Strange and Beautiful
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Well, it's the 90's (1991 to be exact), and the mainstream music trends are shifting dramatically. The majority of metal bands are going through an identity crisis while trying to adapt to the rising grunge scene, or, at the very least, avoid being killed off by it. And progressive/power metal band Crimson Glory are no exception.

Sadly, Crimson Glory's attempt at remaining relevant didn't go over too well, with the band's sound taking a bit of a hybrid hair metal/grunge turn. It reeks of early 90's rock, reminiscent of bands like Extreme or Ugly Kid Joe, but still maintaining their own distinctive style of riffing. But there's so many things here that just didn't stick well with fans.

There's more "chants" and big chorus's with female backing vocals, there's organs, tribal drums, even a bloody saxophone solo! Then there's a brief musical passage in the song 'Starchamber' that sounds almost identical to the chorus of 'Kid Ego' by the aforementioned Extreme. It's always great to see a band experiment with their music, but sometimes it just doesn't work out for the better, and in 1991, this could just have easily been considered desperation to adapt, as opposed to a genuine desire to try new things.

It's all a moot point either way, because unless you were Metallica or Guns 'n' Roses at that time, you were pretty much screwed.

It's all not bad though, songs like 'The Chant' (which is actually an awesome tune), 'In the Mood', 'Strange and Beautiful', 'Promise Land' and 'Love and Dreams' are all fairly good and catchy pieces that makes this album worth looking out for if you're a fan of the band, but certainly nothing of any real importance is on offer here.

Overall, 'Strange and Beautiful' was never going to win over any new fans, but it's certainly an interesting release. Some of the songs can tend to drag at times, but for the most part, it's a decent effort. Sadly, it signalled the end of Crimson Glory's run as a legit band, as, other than a brief comeback album in 1999, the band have done nothing of relevance since.

 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.05 | 140 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 'Transcendence' is the album that many Crimson Glory fans (do these still exist???) consider their finest work. And it'd be hard to disagree. Good, quality metal riffing with some nice melodies and interesting twin-guitar harmonies is something I feel that modern metal seems to be lacking, but this album has in abundance, showing you how to get the most out of two guitars.

Everything about this album is a huge improvement upon the groups self-titled debut (which is an album I struggled to enjoy, for no reason in particular). The songwriting is a lot more mature and the guitar harmonies are more consistently interesting than before. Midnight's ungodly vocal range truly shines here with a much more precise production that perfectly suits the music and the era in which it was released.

Guitarists Ben Jackson and Jon Drenning really are two sides of the same coin, with their twin-guitar assault being highly reminiscent of metal greats such as James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, or Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman... or pretty much any other guitarist who's been in Megadeth... the chemistry between the two really is that good, and it's a travesty that they would have such a limited output over the years.

Almost every track offered here is a hit, with only a couple towards the end feeling like they were chucked in to extend the duration of the album. 'Lady of Winter', 'Red Sharks', 'Masque of the Red Death' and 'Where Dragons Rule' are some of the finest, most energetic and enthusiastic power metal songs you can find, and of course, there's also the hit single 'Lonely', which is the song that originally led me to purchasing this record in the first place!

It's a shame that a band such as Crimson Glory never truly lived up to the potential that they had in their prime, but if 'Transcendence' is forever to be considered their finest work, then that's a pretty damn good achievement.

 Crimson Glory by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.52 | 61 ratings

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Crimson Glory
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars We all have those albums, right? You know the ones? The ones we SHOULD like but just can't get into. Doesn't matter how much you like the band or how many listens you give it, you just cannot get into the album. This is THAT album.

Now, I love Crimson Glory (the band), and it's a huge shame that they never truly lived up to the potential they displayed in their short-lived prime. But that "prime" consists of their self-titled debut release, which seems highly revered by fans, but I just can't seem to enjoy, no matter how hard I try to.

The songs just don't work for me, and I can't place my finger on why. Are the compositions lacking the polished feel of their later hits? Is the production too primitive? Am I just being picky? Or is it a combination of all three? The musicianship is top-notch, and it's easy to see how this band were so influential upon the power metal genre, and along with Fates Warning and Queensryche, how they laid the early foundations of progressive metal. Midnight's incredible vocal range is truly unmistakeable, although, indeed the production here doesn't do it justice and at times it just sounds incredibly tinny.

Overall though, I just can't enjoy this album, for no legit reason, really. 'Dragon Lady', 'Queen of the Masquerade', 'Heart of Steel' and 'Valhalla' are all good songs, but they all lack something that prevents me from ever truly going out of my way to listen to them. I could listen to 'Transcendence' or 'Astronomica' any day, but there's just something missing from 'Crimson Glory' that makes it a record I endure, instead of enjoy.

 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.05 | 140 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With a twin-guitar lineup and a vocalist - the mysterious Midnight - whose delivery reminds me a lot of the better Geoff Tate performances, you could be forgiven for thinking that Crimson Glory were just riding the Queensryche bandwagon, though musically speaking I find their material a bit more hard-edged than the 'ryche's post-Warning stuff - in fact, it's more along the lines of early Fate's Warning a lot of the time. Competent stuff, in short, though I feel that the album hasn't aged quite as well as Fate's Warning's material from the same era and if you're after truly experimental progressive metal you'll probably find it a little tame.
 Astronomica by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.90 | 33 ratings

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Astronomica
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Astronomica (1999) is the fourth studio album by Crimson Glory, a North American band. In fact is their first album in 8 years since Strange And Beautiful (1991). Nothing strange that this was their comeback and also last release.

Crimson Glory plays pretty much Heavy Metal with hints of Progressive Metal. It is in fact a 4 man band, but it looks like a solo project, really.

Nothing, nothing remarkable. Nothing really stands out but one phrase in my mind: "Endless screaming and a horrible drum sound."

Oh yeah, and don't forget that after 5 minutes of the last song you still have more.... perfect!

 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.05 | 140 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Crimson Glory's "Transcendence" is one of the early prog metal albums coming in at the end of the 80s decade. As such it suffers from the 80s hangover but still manages to captivate with some masterful tracks that are incredibly complex and intelligently structured. One of the most dynamic tracks is 'Eternal World' with amazing speed picking, screaming lead solos and unbelievable vocals from iconic screamer, Midnight. The tempo changes and melody are enhanced by accomplished fast guitar riffage and atmospherics.

The power metal of 'Lady of winter' is a dynamic opener with a killer riff and excellent vocals. This was the sound of 80s metal when metal really took off and spawned some of the most amazing bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth. These bands dominated the 80s but Crimson Glory fell below the radar for me although I was heavily into metal at the time. The band are definitely very accomplished musicians, the lead guitar is incredible by Jon Drenning, backed up by the rhythm guitar of Ben Jackson. The rhythm machine of bass from Jeff Lords and percussion by Dana Burnell are never less than technical.

There are the obligatory acoustic power ballad segments such as on the opening of 'Burning Bridges'. All metal albums seemed to have these moments. The lead guitar work on this is excellent with soaring passionate string bends. The solo at the end is worth waiting round for, fast arpeggios and speed picking merged with a steady tempo.

Another highlight is 'In Dark Places', one of the longer songs at 7 minutes, with Midnight sounding emotional and passionate. This one admittedly sounds like the type of metal of the year 1988, along with Megadeth's "So Far, So Good, So What", Helloween's "Keeper Of The Seven Keys", Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime", Fate's Warning's "No Exit", Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son of a Seventh son", Metallica's "And Justice for All", and Slayer's "South Of Heaven". As you can see it was definitely a year of metal with some of the best albums coming out one by one. The template was to present shredding, melodic riffs, amazing lead breaks and powerhouse vocals. Midnight was certainly one of the best vocalists but he was in good company with the likes of Dickenson, and Tate. Even Christian metal sounded like this, with the high vocals and shredding guitars.

What made Crimson Glory stand out within the maelstrom of metal that dominated in this era? The intricacy and technicality of the music was a key factor. The album features strong prog elements that would bring something new to the scene. Listen to 'Masque of the Red Death' for some technical guitar riffs and especially Burnell's sporadic drumming. In the half time feel the guitars blaze with soaring twin lead harmonics, until Drenning takes over with screaming lead wizardry. The pitchy singing is vibrant and Midnight is revered in metal history for this type of singing.

'Painted Skies' begins with acoustics, Midnight singing melancholy lyrics, "spread your wings, you can fly, But the dove is never free, In painted skies that shade the colour of your dream, Only nightmares are real, Confusion conceals the only reason for the feelings you can't hide." It sounds a bit like Queensryche, namely 'Lady In Black'. The melodic sound is compelling, but it is the guitars on this that lift it, especially the towering lead break and more aggressive riffing.

Another softer balladic song is 'Lonely' with nice harmonics and vocals. The sadness is wrapped in well written lyrics about unrequited love; "She awakens from a dream to a silent room, where shadows speak of memories, Another sleepless night afraid to face the day." The song builds into a heavier riff though maintains the melancholy style. 'Red Sharks' is a faster shredder with more aggressive vocals. The lyrics are very anti communist; "Give us your freedom, we'll give you hell, Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, Glory to red sharks, Answer to your red dictators, Feeding from your dreams, Cast into a sea of red sharks." The faster Crimson Glory is irresistible but there are dated anthemic vocals that could be excised. The guitars make up for it though particularly when the lead break crunches in with speedy licks, duel hammer ons and power riffing. The technical riff at 3:40 that gallops is one of my favourites on the album.

'Where Dragons Rule' is worth a mention too especially for Midnight's high octave screeches. It even reminds me of Judas Priest style riffing, very steady and precise. It sounds a bit Spinal Tappish with the bombastic male chorus vocal yells and overall lyrics, but it holds well due to incredible lead breaks and vocals.

The album is hailed as a masterpiece of metal by many and is highly revered for the late Midnight's legacy and overall metal technique. Midnight died of a kidney and liver failure at the age of 47 in 2008. One of the first prog metal albums, "Transcendence" must rank highly as an influence to prog metal to come in the 90s decade.

 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.05 | 140 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Good, but fails to "transcend" New Wave Of British Heavy Metal

Crimson Glory's Transcendence is often considered to be a classic of progressive Metal and while the title and cover art admittedly are very inviting for a Prog fan, the musical contents are not that interesting in Prog terms. Despite hailing from America, Crimson Glory is a band in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal school. Transcendence is an album of moderately complex Heavy Metal very much in the Judas Priest and Iron Maiden tradition and, in my opinion, Crimson Glory fails to push things anywhere beyond what these two classic British bands had already done in the 70's and early 80's. The closest musical influence seems to be Judas Priest's mid 70's albums, particularly Stained Class. The title track has a clear Led Zeppelin flavour.

Still, this is good melodic and, as i said, moderately complex Metal music. I enjoy it. Fates Warning did very similar things on their early albums. But unlike Fates Warning, Crimson Glory did not go on to the next level; they did not evolve beyond proto-Prog Metal (at least not on this album).

Good, but somewhat overrated

 Transcendence by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.05 | 140 ratings

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Transcendence
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Double-D

5 stars Transcendence is probably the best progressive metal album of all time. It is sad that nowadays this unique band is totally forgotten.

Transcendence offers something really special and easily can be classified as universal metal. The starts with Lady Of Winter one of the shortest songs on the record. It shows what Glory is all about - nice riffing, beautiful melodies and of course Midnight's unique voice. Then comes Red Sharks - the fastest song on the album and maybe one of the best speed metal tracks ever written. The highlights on the album are easily Painted Skies, In Dark Places and Burning Bridges. No words can describe how great these pieces of music are. Great riffing, beautiful melodies and of course Midnight's immortal voice. The album ends with the minor title track which is a bit strange, but fits great to the others. So if you call yourself progressive fans this album is absolutely essential!

 Crimson Glory by CRIMSON GLORY album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.52 | 61 ratings

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Crimson Glory
Crimson Glory Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars This debut album of CRIMSON GLORY is a true monument in the history of modern American metal with some prog influences!Even it's a debut album,CRIMSON GLORY was since the beginning a band like no other,especially because the unique voice of the trully regretted vocalist MIDNIGHT- RIP- a sensational vocalist!This guy had an unique and instantly recognisable voice,with amazing capacities-from very alto tones to really ferocious ways of expression!Of course,we have to remember about their ridiculous masks-their trademark at the time-but it was something that was very original-remember-all happened in the middle of the 80's!Pople known CG as the band with the guys wearing the masks!!!This album has a good production and some sensational compositions,in my opinion LOST REFLECTION is the absolute masterpiece of the band,one of the most amazing compositions in the history of metal-a trully sensitive metal ballad,with wonderful verses and a majestic performance from MIDNIGHT, which is giving here the whole measure of his fabulous voice!Other highlights are VALHALLA,DRAGON LADY and QUEEN OF THE MASQUERADE-true metal anthems and songs made for eternity!MIDNIGHT was also on the second CRIMSON GLORY album,the masterpiece TRANSCENDENCE-one of the most important albums in metal too ,some people says a true milestone in music,of the same importance like classics of the genre- METALLICA-MASTER OF PUPPETS,QUEENSRYCHE-OPERATION MINDCRIME,FATES WARNING-PARALELLS.In fact,CRIMSON GLORY were ofter compared to FATES WARNING,QUEENSRYCHE and MAIDEN-ant that's perfectly true!CRIMSON GLORY is trully mentioned as major influence for hundreds of bands in the prog metal and power metal genre!A wonderful album,which deserves his place iv every serious collection of prog metal fans,goot American classical metal,generally speaking. 4,5 STARS,because Transcendence is the one which deserves 5!!!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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