Into The Glorious Battle
Released: 2017, Scarlet
I’ve been on a bit of a Cryonic Temple kick lately. By pure coincidence I got the first, third and fifth Cryonic Temple albums in the past coupler of months. The most recent one is the new album. I was quite surprised to see it, I had sort of assumed they broke up because it had been nine years since IMMORTAL came out.
The new album is called INTO THE GLORIOUS BATTLE and the band is yet again on another record label, their fourth in five albums. This time Scarlet has signed them and it is not a bad fit. In the intervening years there has been another complete and total overhaul of the band. Founder and guitarists Esa has an entirely new band. The first three album fronted by Glenn Metal was a pretty cohesive until but the last two albums have had a ton of people come and go and the band has really evolved their sound. Apparently, the Swedes had changed styles on the previous album had also changed so I can’t comment on that.
INTO THE GLORIOUS BATTLE is a sci-fi based concept album with a decent eye-catching cover of some sort of cloud-sky city. This sort of makes sense because for a band with a name based on futuristic technology they were very often lyrically based in the past, history and so on. I like the storyline, it was not too hard to follow and quite engaging. Some of the slower songs and mid-paced tunes that new singer, Mattias tells tales of loss, weariness, fighting for your homeland. There are lots of spoken word parts and narration but I wish they were a bit higher in the mix because at times they are hard to hear. Some of the more melancholy songs are quite appealing but there are plenty of fast double-kick driven songs such as the title track, ‘Flying Over Snowy Fields’ and the oddly out of place ‘Mean Streak’. It sounds almost like an older song they tried to work in with a fast beat, a bit of a Rainbow, Deep Purple keyboard line and a Hard Rock feel. It’s still a great song, it just stick s out as not as cohesive as the others. I’ve seen it listed as a bonus track in some places and that would make sense, because the lyrics don’t really fit the story. I listened to the album several times and every time when I heard the song ‘Mean Streak’ I kept thinking, “this just doesn’t fit! It sounds like ‘old’ Cryonic Temple!”
Overall, the keyboards have way up to the front of the album and the sound is more flowing and melodic. The music is not as anthemic, nor as punchy as in the past, but still, well-written songs, well-performed songs keep your attention. There is much more of sweet Euro-Metal style rather than a Germanic stomping vibe. In this review, I’ve talked quite a bit about the past and the present, however, this new direction is extremely well executed and very enjoyable.
I really enjoy INTO THE GLORIOUS BATTLE, but this is certainly not the band I fell in love with way back in 2003 when I bought BLOOD, GUTS AND GLORY. It is not like Esa is tarnishing the name of Cryonic, it is a natural evolution (well revolution) in sound and it holds up on it’s own merit, but I think it might get an unfair comparisons to the earlier era. With that in mind, if I bought this album and knew nothing about it, and it had a different band name, I would give a good rating, therefore I can’t in all fairness deduct marks ‘just because’ it doesn’t sound like the old albums. So, buyer beware, keep an open mind and enjoy the new evolution of Cryonic Temple.