Saturday, November 1, 2008

Review: Crossbow - Father (2001)

Crossbow [ Website | MySpace ]

Crossbow, hailing from the western German city of Dortmund, came together as Savannah  in the mid-1990s. It wasn't until 2001 that the band, after changing monikers and personnel, released their first studio recording - the seven track demo Father. The album is a demo in every sense, from poor production to DIY artwork, but as unrefined as it is Crossbow's potential still manages to poke through.

After a rather pointless intro track, Father is kicked off by "... The Mirror Black". Guitarists Alfred Tietz and Markus Hochstein lay down some crunchy riffs that ooze with a very doomish vibe, which combined with some simple (but well-played) solos mark Crossbow's sound as being firmly in the realm of Teutonic-styled true metal. Latvian frontman David Ivanov sounds a bit like a cross between Glenn Danzig and Eric Adams (Manowar), though he still needs a lot of refinement to be successful in this genre. While his performance is for the most part tolerable, the power ballad "Devil Knows (My Name)" draws attention to his shortcomings. The latter stages of the track find the pace quickened dramatically and reinforced with some buzzsaw riffs, giving Ivanov the opportunity to return to his gruff comfort zone. While "Devil Knows (My Name)" stands out for its flaws, the rest of the demo is a fairly good bit of old school power metal.

Father proves that Crossbow is made up of some talented musicians who just need to tighten it up a bit to take things to the next level. Ivanov needs a bit more work than that, though. He struggles an awful lot, but he possesses enthusiasm in spades and could be a powerful singer with some refinement. For the casual metal fan, Father probably isn't a release you'd want to get your hands on. For the more serious genre collector, though, the disc does contain a few moments to get excited about.

Track Listing
1 Intro 0:36
2 The Mirror Black 6:11
3 Devil Knows (My Name) 7:29
4 Mind Ripper 3:38
5 Father 4:42
6 Shoot'em Down 5:03
7 Pirates of the Midnight Sun 6:01
Total Runtime 32:57

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