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After a six year hiatus, the Swiss band, Crystal Ball, is back on the Hard Rock wave. Even though the band is still made up of Scott Leach and Marcel Sardella, there are also some brand new members who might bring in a fresh breeze. The only question is, are Crystal Ball able to repeat their successes of old? With singer Stefan Mageney, the Swiss have a German on board, whom many should know from his countless projects (Abacus, Bourbon Street). And one thing becomes clear after listening to the first songs, Stefan is the right man for one more success story for Crystal Ball. Of course, you cannot compare him with ex-fronter, Mark Sweeney, neither is better or worse, I´d say but Stefan´s voice fits perfectly to the new songs – what he makes of the old songs remains to be seen. The other two new faces belong to Cris Stone (ex-Stoneman) and Markus Flury (Charing Cross), taking over bass and guitar duties, respectively.
The album that should put them back on the road to success is called “Dawnbreaker”. On it, old and new fans will find 13 great songs, ranging from kick-ass Hard Rock songs to slower tunes like the ballad, “Eternal Flame”. With the latter, the band participates in the national preliminaries for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Let´s hope that this wont have a negative impact on the band´s record sales as any involvement with the pop music competition is still frowned upon by many. But I think it´s the first decent ESC song in a long time even though, I must say, that it´s not my favorite one from the record. It´s the heavier songs that suit Stefan much better than the ballads, with which I´m missing some more heartache in his voice. But I understand that sometimes it´s not so easy to bring those emotions across if you haven´t written the song yourself. The songs, altogether, are less chaotic than those from back in the days and sound more mature.
All in all, “Dawnbreaker” is a well done comeback album and I´d grant them their success and just hope, the fans will like the album as much as I do. Let´s see whether the two year break was too long but music-wise one would definitely miss something.