I know that Crystal Palace is a famous London soccer team, but I didn't know that it was a great German prog rock band either! So far they already recorded five studio albums. The System Of Events is their sixth and the first to be released through the label Gentle Art Of Music founded by Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang (both RPWL). Crystal Palace hails from Berlin and the four-piece distinguish themselves through courageous song composing, brilliant arrangements and gorgeous melodies.
Especially guitar picker Nils Conrad leaves his marks on this amazing album and his guitar solos, hooks and riffs often remind me of Kalle Wallner and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd). Just listen to his solos in songs like As Heaven Dies, Green Way or the title track and you will be hooked and amazed what Conrad is capable of. The highlights of this wonderful album are Green Way, a very melodic song containing great guitar playing and a very catchy chorus; As Heaven Dies, which is prog rock the way it should be; and the title track, an epic prog rock track lasting more than thirteen minutes. This is a real masterpiece with lots of diversity, sparkling solos and great vocals. Speaking of vocals, singer Yenz is a wonderful vocalist who shines in the melodic passages of all the tracks.
Crystal Palace have also asked some well-known guest musicians to play along on this great album, namely Yogi Lang (keyboards), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, bass) and Kalle Wallner (guitar). So, this album is a must have for all devotees of great progressive and melodic rock music. Buy or die!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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