Back in the late 1980's when metal was still reigning and popular, the record labels were pumping out great hard and heavy bands. Crystavox was blazing a trail of their own with a tight melodic hard rock/metal sound that caught the attention of Regency Records, who hit the music fans with the band's 1990 release simply entitled Crystavox. Featuring a tight melodic metal sound reminiscent of the style popular at the time, I recall being blown away and loving it back in the day.
Their second release, The Bottom Line, hit the shelves in 1992 with a slightly more metallic and heavy musical direction, it too, was a blast of greatness with hooks and crunch galore. Sadly the music scene was changing, and Crystavox, along with many other amazing bands, never got their full day in the sun and faded much too quickly from music world.
The in 2010, Roxx Records brought the name of Crystavox back to our lips and minds when they issued us The 20 Year Mix release, which was a retrospect release of sorts. It included a best-of set of tracks that had "been completely remastered and totally redone; new guitars, drums and an over-sampling method vastly increasing the mastered volume of each song to today’s standards making for an optimal sound that brings these tracks straight in to the modern day."
Now, Roxx has taken things to the next level and brought to us these remastered reissues of both previously released albums in their entirety, not only on high quality CD as expected, but also remastered for the first time ever on limited quantity vinyl in both traditional black as well as special colored editions.
The remastering sounds superb as expected. I initially did a quick A/B test to compare the original releases to these new ones, and while the sound quality is more notably improved on the first album than noticed on the sophomore release, both of them sound most excellent by today's standards.
The CD releases also include the addition of two bonus tracks each, which are tracks pulled from the previously released 20 year mix. The CDs come with booklets containing the lyrics, and the vinyls have a full sized double sided lyric insert.
The vinyls are limited to a one time pressing of only 500 copies, with each having 350 copies on typical black vinyl, and 150 of the colored for each release. Their first release is a beautiful sort of marbled purple, and sounds great even on my average sound set up. The second album is in a wonderful red color.
The warmth and depth of the wall of sound blaring from my speakers when playing these first ever vinyl releases makes them come to life in a whole new manner than I've ever experienced them before in all of these years. And the fact that the CDs sound better than ever means that you will find this to be the best representation of these releases to date. But this is a limited release, so do not hesitate or you may miss out (and you don't want that).
Crystavox CD Tracklist
2. Power Games
3. Wear It Out
4. Turn It On
5. Home Again
6. All The Way
7. It's All Right
8. All Around The World
9. Never Give In
10. Tough Boys
11. Home Again (Bonus Track)
12. Power Games (Bonus Track)
The Bottom Line CD Tracklist:
1 The Big Picture 2 Break Down The Wall 3 Rise Up 4 Snakes In The Grass 5 Stick To Your Guns 6 Paradise 7 Cry Out 8 Shame 9 Rockin' A Hard Place 10 No Boundaries 11 Stick To Your Guns (Bonus Track) 12 No Boundaries (Bonus Track)
In my opinion, this band deserved more popularity than they received back in the day, blame it on a change in the music scene or whatever, but it is wonderful to see them come back into the public eye in these updated and better quality format. My hope is that having bands like these reissued in this time frame where, as a whole, the Christian music and rock world has a larger audience than back when originally released, it might mean they will find a larger audience to enjoy them among the faithful today. [Roxx Records]