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This is the full album stream for The Crystal Eye by Sinister Realm, out on Shadow Kingdom Records.

Sinister Realm - The Crystal Eye [full album stream]

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Track list:

1. Winds of Vengeance
2. Tormentor (Deliver Us)
3. With Swords Held High
4. The Crystal Eye
5. Signal the Earth
6. Shroud of Misery
7. Battle for the Sinister Realm
8. The Tower Is Burning

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Just seconds into The Crystal Eye, my senses perk up. An old feeling returns, one I haven't felt in a while. Strong riffs, strong solos, strong vocals, strong backs: strong metal. Not that other metal isn't strong - it's just that I've heard so much metal based on sound that actual songs, those that inspire and endure, almost seem strange now.

But then I let go. I let that feeling take hold. All those blogs and magazines and clamoring voices telling me what I should think - they disappear. It's just me and the music and the liner notes, like when I was a kid learning to love the smell of "fresh CD booklet". (As a soon-to-be-extinct olfactory pleasure, it's up there with "new pack of baseball cards with bubble gum".) The lyrics are actually legible. No Photoshop nonsense mucking things up, just simple typeface I can read, and words I can hear. I see who solos when, and photos of those responsible: men with pointy guitars and Marshall stacks. I am 11 again.

But only for a moment. I am not 11. I am multiples older. "Seas of sorrow" and "the voices of those who have died" are no longer fantasy. I have been to "dark ancient lands". (Besides my inbox, that is.) And I am tired. I am weary. But for 45 minutes, I am a warrior steeped in blood and purpose. When I return to this world, battle scars remain, and some wisdom. I couldn't ask for more.

— Cosmo Lee

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BUY THE CRYSTAL EYE

Amazon (CD)
Amazon (MP3)
Shadow Kingdom (CD)

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