Crystal Viper’s Marta Gabriel Lives and Breathes Old School Heavy Metal
One of Poland’s top contemporary traditional metal acts, Crystal Viper, recently released Crimen Excepta, their fourth full-length album to date. Featuring classic-flavored guitar melodies, thrashy tempos and the commanding voice of singer Marta Gabriel, the album is a must-own for fans of groups like Mercyful Fate and Metal Church.
For Crimen Excepta, Crystal Viper brought in guest stars such as Hell vocalist David Bower who appears on the album’s title track, as well as Vader‘s Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek to record a cover of the Vader classic “Tyrants of Hell” for a bonus track to the album. Additionally, Crystal Viper recorded “Ghosts of Sherwood” — a theme song for the forthcoming 3D cinema horror movie Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood — which also appears as a bonus track to the album.
Noisecreep recently caught up with Crystal Viper vocalist Marta Gabriel to get some more background on the band.
First off, we don’t get to check out that much new metal from Poland. How is the scene there at the moment?
There are many underground acts, especially black and death metal ones, but only few bands that keep on releasing albums, or which are playing regularly. It’s maybe not so bad like few years ago, but in comparison to our neighbors such as Germany or Czech Republic, it really doesn’t look that good. When you want to go out, to see a good live show, there’s nowhere to go, unless you wanna see band playing in a pub without stage and lights, between tables, surrounded by smoke of cigarettes.
Even if some promoter takes a risk and organize something, ticket sales are so small, that he loose lot of money, and doesn’t want to organize further shows, so it’s worse and worse. Really good acts sell like 50-100 tickets for their live shows here. It’s sad and kind of depressing here, most people prefer to stay at home and watch YouTube than go out and watch bands.
Watch Crimen Excepta Album Trailer
You guys have a more traditional heavy metal feel than the most of the stuff coming out today. What is it about that era of music that makes you connect with it so strongly?
Crystal Viper is a heavy metal band inspired by some great heavy metal acts from the ’80s, that’s why you can hear such connections, and the truth is that is was the best time period for this kind of music. But it’s not only about inspirations, I truly love this music genre, and I simply compose music that I want to listen – then I’m a happy person as a musician and composer, as well as a fan of music.
Your press materials compare your vocal style with former Chastain singer Leather Leone. I think that’s a really great call on their part. Who are some of your vocal heroes?
From the very beginning my vocal mentors have been Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), Leather Leone, Jutta Weinhold (ex-Zed Yago), David De Feis (Virgin Steele), Rob Halford, Doro Pesch, and of course, Ronnie James Dio. All of them are and were fantastic musicians, and artists, and had huge influence on me.
Tell us about the guest stars featured on Crimen Excepta.
Well, inviting special guests is a kind of tradition for us. Our goal is to show to our young fans where are the roots of our music, where we take our inspirations from. And also, as being fans ourselves, we have a chance to show respect to the bands, that inspired us. That was also this time: we all appreciate both bands, Hell and Vader, and as we knew each other, we invited them to take part in our songs. And have you seen Hell live on stage, or heard their album? I don’t think there is any other artist out there, who could be better in the role of William on our album!
Listen to “Witch’s Mark” from Crystal Viper
Now that the album is out in stores, what’s next for Crystal Viper?
We plan to play as many live shows as possible, there are some confirmed dates already listed on our website, and soon we will confirm few more. We are also slowly thinking about some special stuff for our anniversary, as 2013 is the 10th anniversary of the band, but it’s too early to say more.
If you had to name one album that changed your life, what would it be?
It’s hard to mention only one, I would rather say heavy metal itself changed my life, when I heard for the first time bands like Virgin Steele, Black Sabbath, Warlock, Iron Maiden and many more, I found out that I want to play in a band. And this is what I do until now, and what I will do until the end!