Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Crimson Dawn

It Came from the Stars / The Open Coffin

Review by Gary Hill

This is a double CD set, but it is basically a single CD with a bonus EP included. The second disc is not listed on the spine, and the song titles aren't included on the back of the CD package. That said, the booklet is basically a dual booklet. If you flip it upside down, it's the booklet for the other CD.

That said, these discs aren't labeled as first and second, but I'm assuming the main one (It Came from the Stars) is CD one and the bonus EP (The Open Coffin) is the second. Now, it should also be mentioned that from what I can tell the last two tracks on that second disc have been reversed from their order when it was originally released.

The music of this act is definitely metal, but in terms of subgenre, it varies. There elements of NWOBHM, doom, epic metal, Gothic metal and more present here. This all works really well. At least two of the songs have literary roots (Poe and Lovecraft), and there is really a dark, horror type lyrical tone to much of this. All in all, I like this a lot. The main disc is the stronger one, but the second has some definite highlights, and it is a bonus, really.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 5 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
CD One: It Came from the Stars
Prospero’s Castle

Symphonic, dramatic, spooky music is on display on this instrumental introductory piece. It feels like something that would be at home in the soundtrack to a horror movie.

The Masque Of Red Death
This Poe-based song pounds in heavy, slow moving and powerful. It's a driving cut that works so well. This is a great tune that combines doom metal with something more Gothic. There are also some power and epic metal leanings built into this thing. There are some intriguing changes along the road on this, and some keyboards lend some interesting touches. The guitar solo is both fiery and melodic.
Hunter’s Dream
More of a slow NWOBHM concept gets this going. The track drops to a mellower section and has some dramatic elements at play. They bring the real steel to bear here, but then turn it to a mellower, chorale-based section for a powerful twist later. This cut keeps evolving and changing. This includes a duet with a female singer further down the road. This is epic in scope, and just so strong.
Fade Away
Faster paced, but clearly nowhere near speed metal or thrash, this is another NWOBHM styled tune. There is section later in the track where the bass gets a chance to show off. I think that's a great touch. Piano has a prominent role in this song, including a solo at the end.
Nera Sinfonia
This comes in doomy and slow moving. It is epic in a lot of ways, and it does turn faster paced later. There are hints of chorale vocals heard as accents along the road.
Solace In Death
A driving NWOBHM vibe gets us going here. There are definite symphonic epic elements at play here, particularly on the choruses. This is another powerhouse on an album full of strong music. A keyboard solo section is an unusual, but effective choice.
The Ringmaster
This starts with distorted circus music. They bring a killer riff in from there. The track is another epic metal leaning number that's very effective.
Of Gods And Mortals
While not a big change at the beginning, this powers in with plenty of style. It drops to a mellower section to continue. I wouldn't quite call it a balladic section, but it is slower and less "in your face."  It does get into more driving, fierce metal territory later.
The Colour Out Of Space
Echoey trippy sounds open this. It builds gradually with some non-metal guitar. Around a minute-and-forty-five-seconds in, this screams upward with pure metal at its heart. This Lovecraft-based song is fierce and so strong. It's the longest piece here at more than seven-and-a-half minutes long. I'm reminded a little of King Diamond on this for some reason. This is epic in scope and really rocks. After a peak, the echoey stuff returns around the four-and-a-half-minute mark. Vocals come over the top, bringing a trippy kind of suitably otherworldly vibe to the piece. They bring us back to fierce metal after a time to take the song and album out.
CD Two: The Open Coffin
The Open Coffin

Starting with some keyboard-based music that is almost proggy, this turns to driving metal as killer riff rises upward. This is a powerhouse that has a definite epic metal vibe to it. This song is about a vampire. The guitar solo section later is absolutely on fire. It's energized and features smoking hot playing.

Nowhere Man
Yes, this is a cover of the Beatles song. It comes in acapella. They turn the track into a doomy metal excursion. As strange as it is, this dirge-like arrangement works really well. They fire up into more powerhouse metal jamming later in the piece. We get some keyboard theatrics before it slows down a little and melodic guitar solos over the top. They continue in that slower motif, which is a reprise of the earlier sections, for the rest of the track.
Thulsa Doom And The Cult Of The Snake (2021)
This powerhouse metal stomper has epic qualities. It also gets some retro stylings via some keyboards in an unusual instrumental break.
Dark Ride (2021)
Another powerhouse metal tune, this isn't a big change early, but it is very effective.. They do drop it to a mellower interlude. Some almost operatic vocals are heard in this section. They drive out with some fierce power metal from there. Some organ soloing emerges later along the road in an unusual touch. The number keeps shifting and evolving.
Crimson Dawn (demo version)
This comes with some killer metal music. It drops a bit for the entrance of the vocals. The song builds with an epic metal scope, evolving as it continues. While this is a demo, the sound quality is still quite good.
Siege At The Golden Citadel (demo version)
While there are no big surprises here, this is another solid epic metal piece. Again, this is a demo that sounds good. It's got some shifts and changes and works well.


More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./