CRIME – Master Of Illusion (2022)
Germans CRIME released two albums in the 90s, and despite a bad decade for the band’s classic hard rock style, they built up a loyal fan base even in Japan. Fast forward 2022 and Crime is back with a fresh lineup and a new album; “Master Of Illusion“.
CRIME stands for great, unmistakable classic hard riffs and strong vocals, not least thanks to the new singer Francis Soto (IVORY TOWER, SUBWAY), who wrote all the lyrics and is responsible for all the vocal harmonies. Together with the founding members Matze Ehrhardt (guitar), Achim Aubele (bass), Alex P. Meli (drums) and Gunter Kierstein (keyboards), the passionate musicians revive the band and now sound better than never.
CRIME has used the last two years to carefully write & arrange the new songs. The top twelve have landed on “Master Of Illusion”, produced at Matthias Fischer‘s renowned PROTON Studio (MICHAEL SCHENKER) who helped to create a massive sound.
The first track carriers the album name “Master of Illusion” and showcases what CRIME is made of: melodic guitar riffs & solos, groovy bass lines (big, which we like a lot), classic hard rock drum beats and tenor vocals from Francis Soto who may not be ‘Jeff’, but it’s a really good shouter.
From there we then have three mid-tempo heavy groove rockers and all of them offer the right amount of chugging guitar and low-end bombast. ‘Tears Are Falling Down’ has a Dokken “When Heaven Comes Down” feel to it. ‘From My Mind’ turns up the heaviness slightly and I love the vocal approach taken here, with Francis dropping his voice down into a guttural growl to sing the title of the track.
‘Shoot Shoot’ would be a great song if the Alannah Myles song “Black Velvet” never existed. They crib the rhythm section from that song, add a sharp riff and we have a strong rocker.
Some may disagree but I found some tracks similar in sound to recent House Of Lords works, such as ballad “No Life”, with its great atmosphere.
Then uptempo ‘All Good Things’ drops again some Dokken influenced riffs and a strong chorus. The keyboards from Gunter Kierstein are also a stand-out here, making this one of the best tracks on the album. ‘Sisters of Mercy’ has a great riff and once again impressive keyboard playing and has that up-tempo approach that makes for an exciting rock sound.
CRIME’s “Master Of Illusion” is a timeless classic hard rock album full of groove a melody, and if you like this style and any of the aforementioned acts as influence, you should check out this CD now.
01 – Master of Illusion
02 – Tears Are Falling Down
03 – From My Mind
04 – Shoot Shoot
05 – No Life
06 – Moving On
07 – All Good Things
08 – Kingdom of Desire
09 – Nowhere to Run
10 – Sisters of Mercy
11 – Show Me Love
12 – The Chains
Francis Soto – Vocals
Matze Ehrhardt – Guitar
Gunter Kierstein – Keyboards
Achim Aubele – Bass
Alex P. Meli – Drums