“To Die For” is the sophomore album of British band Crimes of Passion, produced and recorded by the great Charlie Bauerfeind. I had never heard of the band before and, although the production of the album is great and there’s nothing bad about it, I can’t say this release is a monument to the ages. Yet, I do enjoy it quite a bit. There are many great moments on the album, such as the classic-yet-melodic power ballad “Blown Away” that closes the album, the Power Metally “I Dare You To Try,” the crunchily upbeat “Dream Again,” and the guest appearances by Saxon’s Biff Byford and Helloween’s Andi Deris.
Something that gives me mixed feelings about the album is Dale Radcliffe’s vocals. He sounds at times like Avenged Sevenfold’s vocalist and other times like Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), and sometimes even a mixture of the two. Perhaps it’s needless to say, but I’m a much bigger fan of the songs that don’t remind me of Avenged Sevenfold (speaking on a purely vocal basis).
Bottom line, there is a classic-yet-modern sound to Crimes of Passion that makes the band likable and easy to listen to. Some songs are a bit too “modern” for my taste (mostly the songs in which Dale sounds too much like M. Shadows), but there are a few moments that rise above the tried-and-true Metal formula and hint at a future Power Metal sound that I hope the band pursues. There is enough variety on the album to keep it interesting, but I don’t think it’ll make any “Best Album of 2012” lists. Even so, this is great for a sophomore effort and I look forward to how the band progresses. It’s definitely worth a listen, especially the song “I Dare You To Try.”
Songs to listen to: I Dare You To Try, Love Is To Die For, Blackened Heart, Dream Again, Blown Away (album version)
Review featured at The Metal Pit!