(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
From Urbana, Illinois comes what appears to be the first official recorded offering from CRYSTAL WARLOCK, the ‘Gamma Trip‘ EP.
If that seems a bit vague, it’s because the band does not appear to have much of an active social media presence, which means little information is available to cull. That aside, this four song EP is an impressive, unique sounding amassing of tracks that needs to be shared.
A fast, to-the-point synopsis of CRYSTAL WARLOCK‘s music might be best put as “imagine a musical meeting between Blue Öyster Cult and The Sword” and yes, that does really nail it. Yet, let’s expound a bit on that, shall we? (That is rhetorical for yes, we shall).
With portions of proto-metal, desert / stoner rock, and a few light brushes of psychedelic shading, songs like “Vacant Moon” and “Starbright” possess killer power chords and grooves. They are augmented with subtle, yet ultimately thrilling hooks and guitar harmonies.
I especially dig the production quality of the EP, it allows you to hear the instruments nicely throughout the record. Also of enjoyment are two of the more exploratory tunes here, ones that somewhat set themselves apart, “Sun Collapse” and “Sleepwalker’s Tomb“. Each relay a heavier tinting at times, along with a bit more proggish elements, especially the latter’s.
With some doom flare melded into its psychedelic undercurrents, “Sleepwalker’s Tomb” ends this offering on an enthralling, vibrant high point. The song, the EP, and the band themselves should appeal to a wide swath of fans, ones that fall into the support base of such bands as Forming The Void, Valkyrie, The Sword, and more.
Stream CRYSTAL WARLOCK‘s ‘Gamma Trip‘ EP above in this review or head over to Bandcamp [LINK] where it is currently available as an NYP (Name Your Price) item.