Crystavox (Regency) 1990
2. "Power Games" (4:25)
3. "Wear It Out" (2:39)
4. "Turn It On" (4:10)
5. "Home Again" (4:39)
6. "All The Way" (4:10)
7. "It's All Right (to Rock n' Roll)" (4:10)
8. "All Around the World" (3:15)
9. "Never Give In" (4:12)
10. Tough Boys" (4:27)
Big hair, slick production
and loads of pop metal choruses. Crystavox were Christian metal's answer to Warrant, Skid Row, and Slaughter.
I actually prefer the lyrical content of Crystavox to that of many of the early
90's pop metal bands who all focused on the exact same thing. Crystavox write
smart lyrics, with a few exceptions. For the most part they avoid the Stryper-ish
Christian cliche's of "rockin for the rock" and write intelligent,
thought provoking lyrics. Of course, what pop metal album would be complete
without the hit ballad and Crystavox are no exception with the heartfelt "Home
Again." I don't think it was a crossover hit, but it was a CCM charting
song. This album is now out of print and extremely difficult to find. I bought
my copy as a new release.
Crystavox-The Bottom Line (Ocean) 1992
1. "The Big Picture"
2. "Break Down the Walls" (4:41)
3. "Rise Up" (4:59)
4. "Snakes in the Grass" (3:44)
5. "Stick to Your Guns" (3:34)
6. "Paradise" (4:45)
7. "Cry Out" (2:57)
8. "Shame" (4:40)
9. "Rockin' A Hard Place" (5:46)
10. "No Boundaries" (3:57)
Two years after the release
of their debut, Crystavox release thier followup disc. "The Bottom Line"
is a bit heavier and leans towards a wiser "accepted by metalheads"
look of leather and straight long hair and heavier Skid
Row "Slave to the Grind" sound. A few songs (ie "Paradise")
even push the heavier, faster Judas
Priest style of metal. I like this one much better than the first album.
I should also mention that George Ochoa (Deliverance)
and Jamie Rowe (Guardian) make guest
appearances on this one.
Crystavox - The 20 Year Mix (Roxx) 2010
DISC ONE (CD)
1. Cry Out (3:01)
2. Break Down The Wall (4:56)
3. Power Games (4:32)
4. Stick To Your Guns (3:56)
5. Sacrifice (3:49)
6. Shame (4:34)
7. Home Again (4:53)
8. Paradise (4:43)
9. It’s All Right (To Rock-n-Roll) (4:15)
10. No Boundaries (3:57)
11. The Big Picture (3:37)
12. Snakes In The Grass (3:42)
DISC TWO (DVD)
1. The Crystavox Story- 55 Minutes
2. The Early Days
3. Getting Bigger
4. Tough Boys
7. Hit Single
8. Its All Right
9. The Bottom Line
10. Stick To Your Guns
11. Who We Are
12. No Boundaries
14. Exit Stage Left
1. Through The Storm [1987 EP] (4:23)
2. Summit '96 [1996 Promotional Youth Camp Track] (3:32)
3. The Road Less Traveled [2002 Studio Scratch Track] (2:56)
4. Your Mercy [Praise & Worship Track] (3:21)
5. No Turning Back [1987 EP] (5:45)
6. You Are The One [1987 EP] (4:30)
7. Fame [Windows & Mirrors - Early Crystavox 1987] (4:23)
"The 20 Year Mix" is essentially a "best of" compilation album. However, this is not just a handful of songs taken off the band's two proper albums and released as is. Rather, the songs have been given new life by having been totally remixed and partially re-recorded. According to the press release, the songs are "totally redone; new guitars, drums and an over-sampling method vastly increasing the mastered volume of each song to today’s standards." What that basically means is that these songs have never sounded quite this good. The production is outstanding, yet not overdone like a lot of modern remasters. These songs sound good and don't sound like they are peaking out your speakers. The song selection is outstanding, choosing some of the best songs from both of the band's studio albums. My favorite tracks have always been the heavier tracks such as the speedy "Paradise", the ultra-heavy "Snakes in the Grass", the guitar driven "Stick to Your Guns" and the sing-along anthem "The Big Picture". Songs like these put the band into similar musical terrain as Warrant, White Lion and Skid Row. The band's big CCM power ballad "Home Again" is also included here. Back in the day, this song use to see a lot of air time on a local radio station in my area. I hadn't actually heard the song in nearly a decade. Though it's a sticky sweet ballad, I still quite enjoyed re-disovering this old gem. "No Boundaries" is another big power ballad. Another standout track is the heavy worship song "Power Games".
The DVD consists of mostly live concert footage, most of which is surprisingly well shot. I sort of half expected bootleg, camcorder quality, but much of this looks very professional. There are also several concept video clips. In addition there is some "where are they now" footage.
The bonus EP/CD that came with pre-orders includes some early EP tracks, all three of which are old school, melodic heavy metal. As is usual for EPs, this one includes some oddball tracks that probably wouldn't have seen the light of day otherwise. The unreleased track "Fame" is a bit odd, as it is clearly a different musical direction than the more guitar oriented heavy metal the band is know for. The song is keyboard driven pop rock. With the exception of Adam Lee Kemp's vocals, this sounds nothing like Crystavox. "Your Mercy" is an acoustic ballad that would have fit neatly onto any of the band's albums. "Summit '96" is a goofy hip-hop track that was apparently created for a Youth Summit. It is not even close to being something that most hard rock and metal fans would care about. Finally, "The Road Less Traveled" is a dynamic hard rock song that wavers between acoustic, melodic verses and the heavy, guitar driven choruses. The drums to this particular demo track sound programmed, or at best, triggered. I found the track order for the CD a bit odd, with the 1987 EP tracks spread out between some of the other oddball material. To remedy that, I added the songs to my Ipod and put them in an order I would have preferred.