Sometime after their second EP, Twin Demon, in 2009, Sweden's cut their first album Judgement Night in 2011, which I didn't catch (nor did the band send me as they did with the former). Now they're back with their sophomore effort, The Northern Crusade. Whatever has happened over the past four years has been good for this band.
Melodic power metal is rather ubiquitous these days thanks to it's nearly 30 years of existence and bands continuing to keep the torch burning. Basically, a band either gets it or they don't. Some bands think throwing in clever things into the mix, like death vocals, harsh thrash, or a modern hardcore style, makes it somehow better or novel, when it often doesn't. They don't get it. Alternatively, it can be derivative but still on target akin to great ones from Iron Maiden to Helloween to Edguy. These bands get it. This is where Twins Crew fall in the genre with classic melodic power metal.
Again, not knowing the nature of the previous album, The Northern Crusade is certainly a leap ahead from their earlier stuff. This has all the things that makes for great traditional 'keep it true' power metal: twin guitar leads, galloping but sturdy rhythm section, and strong, sometimes soaring, melodic vocals all sweetened by the correct amount of keyboards. The strength of this album is the simple fact that all these elements are strong. However, conversely, whether its because of the digital promo copy, the mix seems a little soft. And also Twins Crew can sound quite derivative, easily mimicking early Edguy on Blade and Heaven Awaits. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Across the entire album you get what you get, and I repeat myself, strong traditional melodic heavy power metal. Easily recommended.
With Twins Crews' The Northern Crusade, across the entire album, you get what you get: strong, and well-played, traditional melodic heavy power metal. Simple.
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