Pressing on since 1983, Netherlands band Vengeance, now on the SPV/Steamhammer label, returns with Crystal Eye, their ninth studio album. Considering the uneven, sometimes quirky, nature of the previous Soul Collector (2009), this recording seems a return to the more hard rock and heavy metal that defined the band in the Eighties.
Conversely, you could say that Vengeance isn't sure what type of band they wish to be, hard rock or heavy metal. Tunes like Me and You, Bad to the Bone, and Desperate Woman, have a strong rock groove, sometimes nearing AC/DC boogie rock. Whole Lotta Metal, or more clearly, the epic title cut offer classic heavy metal. But it's not an either/or situation, as both sides of the Vengeance coin are interesting and entertaining. Throw in the metal ballad Promise Me, and you have a basically well-rounded album.
Ultimately, and honestly, the Crystal Eye Vengeance is perhaps more true to the band's history and style, and it should please longtime fans. Recommended.