The Cruxshadows: Quicksilver

There are songs that settle me. Make me happy. There are songs that make me want to dance.There are songs that pick me up and carry me, pump me up, feed me with energy and determination. Fuel me.

Alongside songs such as Bring me to Life by Evanescence, and Stand my Ground by Within Temptation, The Cruxshadows have contributed more than their fair share in the latter category. Citadel. Winterborn (my Sacrifice). Sophia.

Rarer is the song that not only lifts me, but straps wings on, lights the fuel and takes off into the clouds, the audible sensation of flight at the edge of a hypersonic flight envelope. Red Sector A by Rush is one such song, Immortal by the Cruxshadows another.

So, it’s labor day weekend, and the Cruxshadows kicked off their US tour at Dragon*Con again. This of course means there’s another single due.

With their latest single release, Quicksilver, they’ve done it again. The title track may or may not take my overall “favorite” slot from Eye of the Storm, but I can imagine it hitting me with the same energy and impact Immortal did when I heard it for the first time opening the concert at last year’s con (missed this one, drat it…).

Stylistically it feels more like a lighter, more upbeat Marilyn my Bitterness, with the power chords toned down, the synths turned up, and their signature violin mostly AWOL. Nevertheless, the arching introductory keyboards get you moving, and the driving refrain and beat will carry you through anything.

The “edit” track won’t make it to my iPod. It’s a solid, shorter mix, of Quicksilver, but not stylistically different enough to justify the precious space. The “remix” track (apparently mistakenly named “Avalanche” at both the Amazon MP3 and iTunes download stores) is long, but worth it, with a trippy -trancy take on the tune, and an opening that reminds me of the intro to Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger.”

Avalanche is solid, lyrical, and has more violins. I seem to be in the minority of of the Amazon reviews in preferring the title track to Avalanche, but it’s a solid, lyrical, song with a variety of musical textures that will stay on my iPod.

Roland is the oddball track – a slow, sad ballad with a haunting piano opening leading into an quiet, retrospective song.

All in all, this is exactly what I’ve come to expect from their past albums: craft, depth, energy, and themes of responsibility, valor, heroism, and myth.

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