Though they'd formed as early as 1982, it's obvious from the very first moments of Crimson Glory's 1986 self-titled debut that the band's creative enlightenment had only arrived with Queensrÿche's acclaimed The Warning album, which had set a new standard for British-derived American metal the previous year. To their credit, however, Crimson Glory had a lot to offer from a musical standpoint as well. Thought they initially drew much media attention because of their mysterious silver masks, the group had an astoundingly powerful vocalist in the enigmatic Midnight (whose ear-shattering screams, much like those of Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate, have become a hopeless anachronism); and in guitarists Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson, a team capable of supplying excellent harmonies and truly beautiful melodic lines. These talents were made evident on classic metal anthems like "Angels of War" and the epic "Heart of Steel," which opens with a gorgeous interplay between their acoustic and electric guitars. And while not all the material here is exactly up to snuff, when they get it right, Crimson Glory are as good as American metal gets -- witness the driving "Dragon Lady" and the absolute classic "Azrael" for proof. Ultimately, Crimson Glory is a very fine album that has withstood the test of time much better than you'd expect.