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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:14 am

I saw them this tour while in So. Cal. (partial show at least) but never heard any of this album till a year or so after it was out. Wish I had an actual copy, I'll try to look for one.

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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:54 am

Another great album from them. Pure, classy, power metal. No sophomore slump for them.
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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:38 am



With the resounding success of TRANSCENDENCE, Crimson Glory had become a band on the rise. After slugging it out in the indie label leagues for their first two albums, they scored a major-label deal with Atlantic Records and the sky seemed to be the limit. Unfortunately, their upward trajectory plowed directly into a wall three years later with the release of their third album, STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL. In Crimson Glory's case, the third time was definitely NOT the charm!!

There had obviously been a major falling out within the C.G. ranks in between albums. By the time S&B appeared, drummer Dana Burnell and guitarist Ben Jackson were both gone. Burnell was replaced by new skinsman Ravi Jakhotia, but rather than find a fill-in for Jackson, the band slimmed down to a four piece, with Jon Drenning handling the guitar load all by himself.

The band had also opted to drop their spacey silver-masked personas and appear as "themselves" for the first time on S&B, which was a controversial move ... but not as controversial as the album itself!!

Who are these guys again?

STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL was released in the Summer of 1991 (if memory serves - and don't quote me on this - it came out the same day as Metallica's "Black" album) and it bears little, if any, resemblance to the albums that preceded it. Where the first two albums were classy, progressive power metal, STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL was moody, melancholy hard rock with a bluesy Zeppelin vibe. The performances are fine, and I suppose that S&B may not be such a bad record in and of itself, but it's certainly not what fans of the band had expected or wanted to hear. It's always reminded me of Saigon Kick's slightly left-of-center take on hard rock. Needless to say, reviews for the highly anticipated album were mixed. Many critics let the album's title write the review for them, saying that the album was definitely "strange" but not exactly "beautiful." I do remember a semi-positive review in Metal Maniacs magazine that praised Jakhotia's drum skills, and claimed that "Crimson Glory obviously wants to be full blown musical innovators, but their laboratory's not fully equipped yet."

Whether the abrupt shift in musical direction was due to label pressure or due to warring factions within the band depends on which side you talk to. Jon Drenning has said in interviews that Midnight, who was well on his way to becoming a full time unreliable drunk at the time, had the most influence on the sound of S&B and that he merely went along with it in order to keep Midnight happy and therefore keep the band together.

However you want to explain it, STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL tanked big time. A video was shot for the track "The Chant," which got almost no airplay, and the band splintered virtually from the moment the album hit store shelves. Midnight abruptly quit so Crimson Glory limped through an abbreviated U.S. tour with vocalist David Van Landing (ex-M.S.G.) filling in, and then Crimson Glory disappeared for almost a decade.



Like most fans I was thrown for a loop by STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL when I first heard it in '91. I kinda liked tracks like "The Chant," "Starchamber" (the only song that hangs onto the sci-fi feel of the earlier albums) and the title track but found most of it to be bizarre and somewhat forgettable. To this day I scratch my head and wonder why a band that had showed so much promise would suddenly commit commercial suicide like this.

After a number of years I upgraded the album to CD on a whim and while it was better than I remembered, it's still not an essential listen. Nowadays even the band members themselves dismiss it. (Jon Drenning: "I don't think anyone in the band even owns that record.")

Metal Mind Records reissued this album along with the rest of the C.G. catalog a couple of years ago, which I always found odd...it's pretty clear that hardly anyone likes this disc so there probably wasn't much demand for it. Very Happy

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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:07 am

Having never heard a single note from these guys, I was so happy to find a copy of Strange & Beautiful in a used shop in Pittsburgh. After coming here and hearing all the praise heaped upon these dudes, I couldn't wait to pop it in my cd player and finally get a listen.

My immediate thought was...um, it's ok, but I don't see what's the big deal here. It's not bad and holds up ok on it's own, but compared to their previous output, I can easily see how much of a stepdown this album is and how longtime fans would have been disappointed.

If you didn't know who the band was and just popped this cd in, I thinks folks would enjoy it's Zep-inspired rock. But it doesn't hold a candle to their previous albums.

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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:12 am

I never heard this album but upon clicking on the link it sounds like a completely different band!
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007
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:26 am

The first Crimson Glory I had ever heard and only bought just about 2 years ago. I guess this thing was kind of a career killer for the band. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading about it on here and other websites but for what it is, I like it. I know it's nowhere near what they had put out before or since but they did this type of music well,I think .
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:20 pm

A disaster of an album in every way possible. How do you go from classy, epic power metal to this? Not that the music itself is actually bad, but the change in direction was shocking. Really bizarre. I actually own all the Metal Mind reissues including this one but I only got it to complete the CG discography.
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kmorg
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:09 pm

"Strange & Beautiful"is, well, strange and beautiful! Yes, this was a huge letdown at first, and I totally understand all the negativity towards it, and the fact that it probably killed the band (though in all fairness, it was not the only contributing factor). BUT, it is actually not a bad album! Sure, this is the first CG album containing filler material, but when the songwriting is on, it is ON. It's easy to hear that Midnight was in the frontseat for this one, especially if you have heard the man's stuff recorded after CG. And his singing is as superb as always, delivering some highly memorable moments, and showing the cotemporaries that he was not a one trick pony.

I reckon there are several factor to why "Strange And Beautiful" sound the way it does. 2 mambers were replaced. And although the bands first 2 albums sounded pretty similar, CG never set out to record the same album over and over. They just took it to the extreme a little too fast with S&B. Loosing the masks was something they'd talked about almost from the moment they first put them on. Another reason was of course the contract with Atlantic Records. Now, how many metal bands continued as nothing had happened when they signed to a big label? Big labels almost always changes a bands sound into something they think will sell better. And the artsy, bluesy hard rock thing was "the smurf poo" when S&B was recorded.

This we are treated to a totally different package. It will always be looked upon as the ugly, bastard child of CG. But I for one like the album for what it is.

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BearOnUnicycle
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:17 pm

Don't remember a single song from this one except "Deep Inside Your Heart". Love ballads Embarassed
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:25 pm

It is different but still has it's charm.

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A Handful of Wayne
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:01 pm

I heard Lady Of Winter and Red Sharks on a college radio station and I was blown away. Of course being as impressed as I was I had to find the album those songs were on. Not knowing any better I came across Strange and Beautiful in a store so I bought it thinking how great this album probably is and I couldn't wait to get home to hear it. I was so dissapointed from the first note, wondering what the hell did I just bought and if it was even the same band. This was at least 10 years or more ago and to this day I don't think I ever listened to the whole album and even if I did I don't remember anything from it except for Chant. Worst album in my collection ever (hmmm theres an idea for a new thread lol)

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:00 am

After the disastrous STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL album, Crimson Glory sat out most of the next decade, but the band members were busy with other projects. Before we move on to the next (and thus far, final) album in the Crimson Glory discography, here's a quick look at some of the members' post-CG activities:

PARISH:

Ben Jackson's band Parish released one album, ENVISION, in 1995 on Long Island Records. Though the album's cover hints towards a sci-fi spacey feel ala Crimson Glory, it's more or less straightforward, commercial hard rock similar to classic Dokken. Good stuff.

Jackson has also released two albums with his own solo band, the creatively named Ben Jackson Group - "Here I Come" in 2001 and "All Over You" in 2005.

CRUSH:

Crush featured Jon Drenning, Jeff Lords and Ravi Jakhotia along with vocalist Billy Martinez. They released one album in 1995.

EROTIC LIQUID CULTURE:

Crush eventually morphed into Erotic Liquid Culture, and still featured Drenning, Jakhotia and Lords with vocalist David Van Landing (i.e. three quarters of the S&B lineup of Crimson Glory, plus the singer who briefly replaced Midnight for the S&B tour.) To the best of my knowledge they only self-released one CD in 1996. Supposedly it was similar in sound to STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL, which casts doubt on Drenning's near-constant claims that S&B's shift in sound was all Midnight's fault when C.G. got back together a few years later. Very Happy

The only one of these discs that I own is the Parish album, if anyone has either of the other two feel free to comment. I never heard Crush or E.L.C. till I hit up YouTube for these clips today and I can't say I'm terribly impressed with either of them.


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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:26 am

I just got the Parish album and I like it very much. That would have been an excellent follow up to Transcendence. It combines melodic power metal with hard rock and is quite hooky. I don't have the other two albums.
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BearOnUnicycle
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:10 pm

Parish is great. But I was hoping for a more prog-power direction looking at the cover. Still its the 3rd best CG yet.
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kmorg
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:57 pm

Midnight also released a solo album, named Sekada.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:06 pm

kmorg wrote:
Midnight also released a solo album, named Sekada.

I was gonna mention that but it came out after CG released "Astronomica," though didn't it? This group of stuff came out inbetween "Strange & Beautiful" and "Astronomica."

Once the "Astronomica" entry is up I plan on doing an additional post to wrap things up about what's happened since then, i.e. Midnight's "Sakada" release and his arrest/death, the new singer, yadda yadda yadda.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:09 am



By the late 90s, progressive/power metal was becoming "cool" in the underground again and Jon Drenning decided that it was the perfect time to resurrect Crimson Glory. Drenning's original intention was to reunite the original band and pick up where Transcendence left off, but when he contacted Midnight about rejoining the band, he either wasn't interested or wasn't in good enough physical/voice shape to do the job (depending on which side you talk to). Thus, Crimson Glory opted to continue onward with a new singer - Wade Black, whom Drenning and Lords had seen gigging around Florida with a local metal band called Lucian Blacque. The new album would be titled ASTRONOMICA and would delve even deeper into Drenning's fascination with aliens and science fiction than the band's previous work. Former Savatage drummer Steve Wacholz was announced as the band's new skinsman though electronic drum machines were used for recording, so he didn't actually play a note on the album.

ASTRONOMICA was originally scheduled for an early 1999 release but when the album was about 3/4 completed, the band's studio was broken into and all the digital files containing their work in progress were stolen/erased. Drenning claimed in interviews at the time that the project may have been "sabotaged." Drenning was involved with a number of groups that fought to release classified documents relating to alien abductions through the Freedom of Information Act, and he suspected that the U.S. Government may have wiped out his album in an act of retaliation. (Yes, seriously.) Whatever the reason, the band had to re-track the entire album a second time and it was finally released in late 1999 through Spitfire Records in the United States and Rising Sun Records overseas. Fan reaction was mixed - due mostly to Wade Black's harsher vocal approach - but mostly positive.

ASTRONOMICA is definitely much heavier album than CG's previous albums. Things kick off nicely with the call-to-arms instrumental "March To Glory" (in which the band plays stirring, military-style music behind sound clips of politicians and world leaders throughout history) and then slams into "War of the Worlds," an alien-invasion saga which reveals Wade Black's piercing vocal style. I'll admit that Black's upper-register screech took some getting used to at first but after a few listens his voice definitely fits the more aggressive tone of the material.

Other strong tracks on ASTRONOMICA include the crunchy "New World Machine," "Touch The Sun" and "Lucifer's Hammer." The track "The Other Side of Midnight" picks up the story line from the debut album's "Lost Reflection," where the character is still locked away and still doesn't have his head together. Some fans took the use of the word "Midnight" in the song to be a "middle finger" towards their former singer but Drenning maintained that it was simply continuing a link to the "old" band.


Reviews of ASTRONOMICA were positive and the album sold well in Europe (as usual), supposedly moving 30,000 copies there in the first few weeks of release. Once again, the band toured mainly in Europe and only did a few U.S. shows. Despite Drenning's talk at the time of "being in for the long haul this time" and continuing to do new albums, a possible live disc/DVD, etc., Crimson Glory quietly went back on hiatus as the millennium turned. Wade Black went on to sing for Seven Witches, Leatherwolf, and Leash Law, and the next time we heard anything from Crimson Glory, Midnight would be back at the helm.

It may just be the fanboy in me talking, but I was pleased with ASTRONOMICA from the first spin and still find it to be a decent listen today. I often wonder where this band might have gone from here if this lineup had managed to keep it together.

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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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007
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:45 am

Astronomica was the first I had heard Crimson Glory,being the first one of theirs I could find used at a decent price. Needless to say, I was blown away by the album. Black's vocals are great although I guess some people don't like him. He fits in on this one just perfect. I love every song on this and it made me want to check out the rest of their discography,which of course I still haven't completed.
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:49 am

never heard anything from this before....

The clips are interesting.....hard to judge by laptop speaker and OZZY blasting in the background

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:49 am

Astronomica is another one that I've been meaning to pick up at some point. Just haven't yet.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:03 pm

The clips sounds great! Adding to my want list.....
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:21 pm

Wade Black and those damn electronic drums ruined this whole album for me. Wades voice is so grating to my ears its hard for me to make it through this whole album. If he would have stayed with his lower singing voice I would have liked it much better. Cydonia is one of my favorite songs off this album.

I got the deluxe edition of this album. The second cd comes with some bonus songs. One is a remake of "War Of The Worlds" but it sounds exactly the same, the others are Astronimica (demo), and Touch The Sun (demo). The second have of the cd is a live show with Midnight singing. The songs are Dragon Lady, Eternal World, Painted Skies, Queen Of The Masquerade, and Lost Reflection.

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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:46 pm

It is enjoyable, but I usually tend to reach for the first two or Parish albums. Maybe it is in the vocals - didn't like Wade in Leatherwolf either - he lacks that menacing, insane edge to Midnight's singing.
Fat Freddy wrote:
Drenning claimed in interviews at the time that the project may have been "sabotaged." Drenning was involved with a number of groups that fought to release classified documents relating to alien abductions through the Freedom of Information Act, and he suspected that the U.S. Government may have wiped out his album in an act of retaliation. (Yes, seriously.)
Him and John Cyriis would make an interesting album two-songz demo only to fade into obscurity for another 10 years.
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:34 pm

I have this one and found it to be okay. I found Wade Black tolerable but he's not my favorite vocalist. I have the two disc version as well. I'll have to revisit disc 2 for the live material which I don't remember at all.
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kmorg
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PostSubject: Re: The CRIMSON GLORY discography...   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:33 pm

Crimson Glory returns as a power metal monster. New vocalist (Wade Black) and ex-Savatage's Dr. Killdrum (Steve Wacholz) join the ranks, creating a much more modern sound for the band. This album is full of crunching riffs and power metal supreme. It's not like the good old Crimson Glory, but it works! So now this band have changed once more, but are still delivering the goods.

I've own the double digi-pack version, and it's a cool item. There could have been a few more songs on the second disc, though. But it's great to hear Midnight in a live recording. The intro is actually a cover of an Enya number, originally named "Boadicea".

Killer tracks: Astronomica, War Of The Worlds

Have anyone even heard through the final track on this disc? The UFO sighting/dispatch phonecalls is actually entertaining and creepy at once!

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