Sweet Crystal - 2003 Power N Glory [Resurrected Masters]

ARTIST: Sweet Crystal
ALBUM: Power N Glory [Resurrected Masters]
LABEL: Nightcrier Music
YEAR: 2003

LINEUP: Marq Andrew Speck - vocals, keyboards * Bill Blatter - guitars, vocals * Steve Wieser - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Power And The Glory * 02 Lead Me To The Rock * 03 Now Or Never * 04 For Once In Your Lifetime * 05 Here, Now And Then * 06 Come On Over


Sweet Crystal have been around for eons, and believe it or not, the band are still in operation today. Back in 2001, we interviewed Marq Andrew Speck about various aspects, and reviewed their then latest album 'Still Standing'. Well two years later, the SC boys turn up one for the books with this 6-tracker resurrected from 1985 called 'Power N Glory'.

Marq says there is a bit of a story to the discovery of the original masters of this album, but it took them more than 15 years of searching, and the perseverance has paid off because the sound and the songs are worth the wait. Mid 80's era Christian AOR was populated by labels like Benson Music, Light, Refuge et al, and by bands like Allies, Twenty Twenty, and Idle Cure - all admittedly fantastic bands in their own right too.

Hearing 'Power N Glory' is a direct reminder of that era, and you can't help comparing Sweet Crystal to those aforementioned acts, particularly Twenty Twenty, where the keyboard layers and fills are everywhere. Not withstanding the guitar work of Blatter which is played with razor-like precision throughout.

The Songs

For pomp fanatics I can reassure you that you will be blown away by the first two tracks: 'Power And The Glory', and 'Lead Me To The Rock'. Check out the keyboard run to the opening track, and start practicing on those air-keyboards of yours. To top it off, the guitar-solo from Blatter is a mind-bender. Great stuff.

Third track 'Now Or Never' is a quaint 80's workout, a bit more subdued than what's gone before, followed by 'For Once In Your Lifetime', a harder edged effort, with heaps of organ and grinding guitar.

The obligatory ballad 'Here, Now And Then' is a sweeping piece, very new-agey/atmospheric even, in the same zone as one-off 80's pompsters Celestium.

The closing track 'Come On Over' finishes off with a bang, not a trace of keyboard to be heard in the mix, this one is all 'fire-in-the-belly' guitar oriented. Nice to see that a keyboard fronted band knows how to rock out when it counts.

In Summary

To summarise, this is less about where Sweet Crystal as a band are now, but more an 80's pomp harkback of yesteryear. To be honest, I'd rather be listening to this than most of todays poor excuse for modern music. Give me more please.

Congrats to Marq and the guys for dragging this out of the 80's and letting all our Glory Daze readers in on the action.

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