Cruz Del Sur Music reached an agreement with California’s Crescent Shield for the release of its first full-length album, The Last Of My Kind, in June of 2006. The band was the brainchild of former Onward man Grant and Destiny’s End DeLucie. The Los Angeles band was formed in 2000 and had a demo in 2002. The Stars Of Never Seen was issued in June of 2009 in Canada. Bill Metoyer co-engineered and mastered the album.
CRESCENT SHIELD - THE LAST OF MY KIND - CRUZ DEL SUR
Crescent Shield is the band of former Onward and Destiny’s End Singer Michael Grant and guitarist Dan DeLucie of Destiny’s End. The project-turned-main act is a good example of the US metal sub-genre. The album benefits from solid hooks, riffs and metallic leads. The solo on the Rise Of The Red Crescent moon needs to be cited here. The vocals are high-pitched generally, but varied and layered. The voice of Grant comes across alternatively as similar to Warrel Dane of Nevermore and Jesse Quattro of Hammers Of Misfortune. The man exudes character, yet the production and mix manage to ruin the overall effect by mixing the man too high and to the detriment of the music. Although the rest of the band could have presumably attempted to be more adventurous the mix effectively buries most of the musicianship. The group is also explicitly influenced by Iron Maiden - members in Maiden cover bands please stand up - as a song like The Path Once Chosen (how appropriate) emphasizes. The album comes with a cool cover art which reminds one of the style of Heavy Metal... the film.
Crescent Shield should be saluted for its emphasis of true heavy metal, but the formula and the sound need a slight tweak before the band could be considered a triumph. - Ali “The Metallian”
CRESCENT SHIELD - THE STARS OF NEVER SEEN - CRUZ DEL SUR
Under Cover Of Shadows opens up The Stars Of Never Seen and the immediate impression is Sanctuary, Warrel Dane and Nevermore. It is definitely not lacking in the catchiness department. The Grand Horizon has faster riffs and easily puts Crescent Shield in the power metal with high-pitched vocals corner, the song is not too unlike Helloween. Tides Of Fire starts slow and pretty much remains a power metal ballad. 10,000 Midnights Ago shows off a bit of the Iron Maiden influence on the band as it also takes an epic doomy route. Temple Of The Empty doesn’t really go anywhere, it is six minutes of mid-paced heavy metal. My Anger is as enjoyable as any good old Sanctuary song. It won’t win any originality awards but it is a good listen. The Bellman is again a heavy metal influenced showcase but this time Running Wild comes to mind as well. The Endurance is perhaps true to its name as it is more than nine minutes long. At such a length, it is not surprising that the song alternates between faster and slower parts. It tries hard to be an epic journey kind of song and doesn’t necessarily fail at that. Lifespan closes this sophomore release with hard rock-ish fast guitar work. It manages to keep its tempo high and remind of Sanctuary once again. - Anna Tergel