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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:19 am



Salutes 'n' hoots y'all. Time for another discography thread from yours truly, and this time the lucky recipients are the Floridian masters of progressive/power metal, Crimson Glory. Though they've only produced four studio albums in their 25+ years of existence, the band has continued to be a cult favorite and a source of influence and fascination to metalheads around the world.

Crimson Glory's roots can be traced back to 1979 when Jon Drenning (guitar), Jeff Lords (bass) and Ben Jackson (guitar) first got together in a local Sarasota, Florida based hard rock band called "Pierced Arrow," who later became "Beowulf." The formative band went through the usual variety of line up changes before the band solidified in 1983 with the addition of vocalist John Patrick McDonald (aka Midnight) and drummer Dana Burnell. McDonald was supposedly a high school classmate of Lords', however legend has it that the band "discovered" him when they found him sitting alone on a Florida beach, strumming his guitar and singing a Led Zeppelin song. The other band members were so impressed with his vocals that they asked him to join their band immediately. The new band name "Crimson Glory" was taken from a particular type of rose hybrid, which the members felt suited their "light and dark" musical direction -- roses are things of beauty, yet they also have thorns which can draw blood.

Several years of intense rehearsal and songwriting followed and the band was finally ready to take on the world in 1986. Armed with a unique image in which the band's faces were obscured by theatrical silver masks, Crimson Glory's debut album first saw the light of day via the tiny Florida based indie label PAR Records, which had also been the first home of fellow Floridians Savatage, who'd released their SIRENS debut through the label.



CRIMSON GLORY (the album) didn't make much of a splash in the band's homeland due to the limitations of their small U.S. label - an initial pressing of 4,000 copies of the album quickly sold out, but the label didn't have the funds to do another pressing. However, the album became an underground hit in Europe, where it was released via the much larger/better distributed Roadracer Records. Due to the warmer European reception, the majority of the touring for the debut album was done overseas (a pattern that would continue for much of the band's career).

I first discovered C.G. through a college friend who owned a cassette copy of the PAR Records version of the album, and I fell in love with their unique mix of harmony and heaviness immediately. I was lucky enough to obtain a copy of the same cassette at a New Jersey flea market several months later and my obsession was born!!

Midnight was one of the few vocalists in the underground at the time who could give giants like Tate, Halford, etc. a run for their money in the helium-vocal sweepstakes. (There were even rumors going around at the time that Crimson Glory was actually a top secret side project fronted by Tate himself, hence the use of a stage name and the mask to hide his face.) Okay, maybe the mask gimmick seemed kind of goofy but it also lent them a certain mystique, ala KISS. I was particularly knocked out by tracks like "Dream Dancer," "Dragon Lady," and the amazing "Mayday" (to this day I am amazed that any human voice could possibly hit such glass shattering high notes!!). I've always found album's closer, "Lost Reflection," to the most disturbing track on the record. This track portrays the rantings of an insane person locked away in the attic by his family, and Midnight's shrieking and snarling vox send chills down my spine every time I hear it.

Over the years I constantly resisted the urge to upgrade my cassette of the first album to a CD because for some odd reason, the Roadracer version of the debut album inexplicably cut one of my favorite songs -- "Dream Dancer," which was the opening track on the PAR version -- from the album's running order. (It would briefly reappear as the B-side of a European single for the track "Lonely" from the band's follow up, TRANSCENDENCE, two years later). It also switched up the running order of the remaining songs so that the album's flow was totally different from the version I was "used" to.

Thankfully, Metal Mind Productions came to my rescue in 2010 by reissuing the album (as well as the rest of the Crimson Glory catalog), with "Dream Dancer" re-instated as a bonus track. It may not have been the opening song of the album anymore (the way it SHOULD be) but at least I can enjoy the "complete" album again after all these years!

In other words, Crimson Glory's first album is a stone cold classic that still sounds great after a quarter century, and your progressive/power metal collection isn't complete without it!!!



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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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007
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:37 am

I don't own any Crimson Glory til the latter 2 releases so I can't really comment on the debut or the next one. That said, I do like what I've heard off the the first 2 though and am curious what everyone else on here has to say about them. I will be getting these eventually.
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manny
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:56 am

I only own one Crimson Glory album and during their glory days, I had no idea they were a Florida band, because unlike Savatage and Nasty Savage ( this is the pre death metal era in Tampa) they very rarely played out here or did free shows like those two bands did. it was not til their second album was released that local free rock rag bragged they were Florida boys but even then, I do not recall doing any shows locally, I am sure they did but I do not remember them playing out here very often.

Like most FL metal fans we just assumed they were a weird European metal band, til that article came out.
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Shawn Of Fire
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:00 pm

Quote :
an initial pressing of 10,000 copies of the album quickly sold out, but the label didn't have the funds to do another pressing.

Impossible. The label must have been terrible at accounting.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:02 pm

Shawn Of Fire wrote:
Quote :
an initial pressing of 10,000 copies of the album quickly sold out, but the label didn't have the funds to do another pressing.

Impossible. The label must have been terrible at accounting.

Either that or they were crooked. Very Happy

Savatage has told stories of being ripped off by this same label, so who knows, maybe whatever $$ they made from record sales was being funneled into offshore accounts, or went up the label bosses' noses. Hey, it was the '80s. Very Happy

*EDIT* I just Googled and found this old Kerrang article w/the band from '88 (check it out here: http://klassickerranginterviews.weebly.com/crimson-glory---december-1988.html ), which sez the amount pressed by PAR was only 4,000 copies. I could've sworn I read 10,000 back in the day, but maybe that was a later interview and Drenning was BS'ing to make the label look even worse than they were. Whatever...the point is, PAR Records did nothing for the band. So I've fixed the original post.

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BearOnUnicycle
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:27 pm

This is the band I've came across early in my metal graduation days and this CD is probably like tenth I've bought (aside from UDO\Accept full discography mania). At first I thought they were meh at best, but over time they've made me appreciate them more and more (the type of albums you will never get tired of... NEVER). Currently CG ranks somewhere near Top 10 with this album being my favourite of theirs. Valhalla, Azrael, Lost Reflection... every track is great with that mystical atmosphere. The only downside of the album is that I had to rebuy it for Dream Dancer. My mom enjoys the shorter version now.
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:29 pm

Phenomenal album. Favorite track is Queen of the Masquerade. Everything is perfect on that track.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:36 pm

BearOnUnicycle wrote:
The only downside of the album is that I had to rebuy it for Dream Dancer.

Another "Dream Dancer" fan...excellent. headbanger

BearOnUnicycle wrote:
My mom enjoys the shorter version now.

You've got a cool Mom! \'arry \'eadbanger

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manny
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:54 pm

BTW FF, during their original tenure I would ignore their albums and it was not til your fanboy praising did I even bother picking up an album, which I did a few years ago when I joined the board. Despite being aware of them I did not actually give them a fair hearing.
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:03 pm

I'm a bit of a late comer to these Floridians. I know I saw their albums in stores and even remember them in magazine articles and stuff, but never heard them for a long time.

It wasn't until I found Strange and Beautiful a few years ago that I got my first taste and honestly, I couldn't see what all the hoopla was about. I know now that that album was a bit of a transitional period for the band. But that's for later.

Anyhow, Kmorg included 'Lost Reflection' on a comp swap and there it clicked. "Oh this is what the hoopla is about!! I get it now!!" I'd eventually track down a copy of their debut and while I'm still not a drooling fan-boy, I understand their impact. Had I heard this back in 1987, I'm sure my opinion would differ. As it stands, it is a brilliant album and even though I've only lived with it for a year or so, it holds up well. Doesn't sound dated to me at all. And I just played it a coupla weeks ago.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:15 pm

I too was an owner of a PAR records cassette. Picked it up while in Fla. during our usual spring break money drive. (either there or South Padre Island ) The key word is "was"......left it the equipment van while we were playing and somebody denied me of further ownership. I had wondered if the "dream dancer" tune was about a sci-fi book of the same name.

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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:06 pm

I love this album, I'm gonna have to spin it sometime today. Midnight's vocals were insane! headbanger
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Sutekh
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:08 pm

Witchfinder wrote:
Phenomenal album. Favorite track is Queen of the Masquerade. Everything is perfect on that track.


Agreed! In all honesty, it's an amzingly consistent album from song to song, whether tackling aggressive sound, a melodic sound, or technical sound. It's an album I don't tire of.
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A Handful of Wayne
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:32 pm

I love the first album. I actually didn't hear it til a few years ago. It was always so pricey on ebay because it was soooooooooooo raaaaaaaaare. Rolling Eyes I eventually got my hands on it for a good price. I got the remaster of it too with the Dream Dancer bonus track. Just a great album all around, wish I would have heard of it when it came out so I could be more familiar with it like I am with other bands. I should really give this one a listen again soon.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:01 am

Fat Freddy wrote:
BearOnUnicycle wrote:
The only downside of the album is that I had to rebuy it for Dream Dancer.

Another "Dream Dancer" fan...excellent. headbanger
The part at 2:35 when Midnight sings "the memory still lingers in my mind" always gives me chills. Awesomeness.
But I really can't see the song as an opener. Valhalla is better imo.


Last edited by BearOnUnicycle on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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kmorg
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:01 am

I discovered Crimson Glory during a time when heavy metal was a dirty word in the mass media, in other words, the mid '90's. The really good releases where few and far between, and great new metal bands were even more rare than a sand-peddler in Sahara.
Then I went through a friends collection, borrowing a couple of CD's by bands I had heard about, but never listened too. Crimson Glory's self titled album was one of them.
I remember listening to the album but not liking it much, due to the ridiculous high-pitched vocals!! So I returned the CD, only to borrow it again not long after. Then the CD clicked with me!

Today this is an all time favorite, and words are not enough for me to describe how much I love this album.

Crimson Glory is technically a progressive metal band. But they are not more progressive than say early Fates Warning or Queensrˇche. The music on this debut is outstanding, and 'Crimson Glory' is absolutely one of the best metal albums ever released. The music is, as is the case with most metal bands, based around the guitar-work of Jon Drenning, and the vocals from already mentioned, Midnight. But all the musicians in Crimson Glory are amazingly talented. The band had their own sound from get go, and with great production on their debut album, they had a strong and very professional send-off. Imagine, if you will, music that is both melancholic and powerful at the same time. There is even hints of futuristic touches, in lack of a better description. Midnight's vocals go from high-pitched and wailing to twisted and "insane" in the blink of an eye. Always powerful, never missing a note. The songwriting is varied, and all of the arrangements are very well thought through.

The 2008 reissue on Metal Mind delivers digitally remastered sound, giving all the instruments a clear and present space in the sound picture. Added to this digi-pack issue is also the 'Dream Dancer' tune, previously only available on the 1986 'Dream Dancer' single, or on the 1988 'Lonely' single. 'Crimson Glory' quickly became one of my top 10 all time favorite album.

Killer tracks: All of them.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:17 am

A Band that has a rather negative reputation around here, mostly for their masks. It took me some time to buy the records, after i heard a few songs i was hooked. What a great band and such a shame they never made it really big.
But this album is really awesome, i gave it a 9/10 in my review and that was even before they re-released it with Dream Dancer (great song)
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:50 am

"Through arching moonbeams of light we glide
in bending shadows of warm starlight
Angels of colors light the night as they fly
Transcending into the electric sky...."



Crimson Glory's second album, TRANSCENDENCE, was released in November 1988 and racked up near-universal rave reviews right off the bat. The album was hailed as a landmark in progressive/power metal and the band were being earmarked as the heir apparents to trailblazers like Queensryche and Fates Warning.

Nowadays the album's production could be considered somewhat "thin" but the songs were leaps and bounds ahead of the debut. TRANSCENDENCE features a nice mix of some of Crimson Glory's best dark-n-moody stuff ("In Dark Places," "Burning Bridges"), plaintive love songs ("Lonely," "Painted Skies") and their heaviest track to date, "Red Sharks," a political rant that features what is quite possibly the most insane high pitched shriek ever captured on tape when Midnight screams "BLOODY RED SHAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRKS!"

On the business side, MCA Records picked up the album for distribution in the USA and a music video for "Lonely" got some MTV play, which raised their profile considerably amongst metalheads in their home country. Still, the majority of their fan base resided in Europe, so US touring for the album was limited. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to see one of their rare U.S. shows in New York City the fall of 1989 at a tiny little club called "Zone DK," and though it was a tiny venue with a small turnout, the show totally crushed - Midnight was completely in command of the audience and the band played like they owned the place. My roommate and I even managed to chat with Midnight for a few moments while the opening bands were on, and he was a very nice guy. (Though I must confess, I honestly wasn't sure which band member it was since he didn't have his mask on -- both he and Jeff Lords had the same big mop of blonde hair! -- so after he said "thanks for coming, guys, enjoy the show" and walked away, I had to turn to my roommate and ask "That was Midnight, right?" Haha.) I treasured the TRANSCENDENCE tour shirt I bought at that show and wore it till it practically fell off of me a few years later. Very Happy



It should also be noted that Crimson Glory's "look" had evolved since the first album. While touring for the debut, the band members quickly learned that the full-face silver masks they wore were hot and uncomfortable on stage, so for the TRANSCENDENCE tour each member's mask was altered to cover only half of their faces, giving each of them a "Phantom of the Opera" style appearance.

Crimson Glory was at its peak on this album. Unfortunately things began to unravel after the TRANSCENDENCE tour....but that's a story for the next entry.

To Be Continued....

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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:59 am

Don't have this one, but it's on my list. Someday perhaps.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:52 am

Masterpiece. Though thin production and some glam notes annoy me occasionally while listening to Trancendence. Painted Skies is my top pick.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:26 am

This is the only Crimson Glory disc I own and i bought it because of fanboy ravings from folks on this board.

I am not sure what kind of impact this disc would have on me back then, I did enjoy the disc and wondered why we had not heard from more from metal critics .
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:54 am

Truly an amazing record! Crimson Glory managed to put out two over-the-top albums in a row, and not one dull song on either of them. Tell me another band from the who's done just that?! Crimson Glory just had that "it", you know? Fabulous songs, a great singer (with a very unique signature voice), and memorable songs. I'm sure the image with the silver masks didn't hear either. It definitely worked well with their Sci-Fi oriented lyrics. 'Transcendence' delivers unbelievably catchy tunes, backed up by killer riffs and well-crafted songwriting. It's really not fair to point out specific songs from this album, but 'Painted Skies' and 'In Dark Places' are my favorites. I miss this band the way they sounded here. And it's too bad that the reunion scheduled for 2007 panned out, due to Midnight getting arrested for DUI. I own the digitally remastered Metal Mind digi-pack reissue of this classic. It comes with a remixed version of the single track, "Lonely", as a bonus.

Killer tracks: They are all killer tracks!!

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:07 pm

Another classic, with better songwriting and continued diversity between tracks. I believe 'Lonely' was remixed for the video an single release to take off some of the metallic edge.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:53 am

Crimson Glory`s two first albums are among my favorite metal albums of all times. I have the Roadrunner vinyl version of the debut and was unaware of the Dream Dancer song until i bought the Metal Mind CD reissue.
Like so many other bands it`s all downhill after an album or two IMO but i am curious about what you have to say about the rest of their catalouge Freddy....
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:52 am

The only Crimson Glory CD I own and it's great! Like Manny, I picked it up because of the rave reviews on this board and I wonder how I missed this one back in the day. O yeah, I was in my 1 year of "Christian Metal Only" phase........

Excellent album and I need to find the rest of their catalog

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