Crysys - Hard as Rock. 1981 USA
1981 Long St. Records
LP reissue: 1983 Metalworks/Jem
CD reissue: none
Crysys were a band from Portland, Oregon who released this one fine hard rock / metal album and then disappeared without a trace. Though released in 1981, they were clearly following along the same path as others of that American late 70s restless breed like Riot, Granmax, The Rods, Bad Axe, and Alkana. Judas Priest were certainly an influence, perhaps even early Van Halen. There's some sophistication in the arrangements, and all the tracks rock hard with plenty of metal riffing, and remain interesting throughout the length. It's from the era where the blues still played a major role in everything hard rock, and there's traces of that here within the songcraft. The psychedelic cover and hair metal styled moniker doesn't do the band any favors with an expected audience that never appeared, despite two LP pressings and covers. For late hard rock / early metal fans, this is an historical gem not to be missed. Excellent.
This album is a new discovery for me, when I stumbled upon the Metalworks LP for cheap in Dec, 2015 (which I sold in our Purple Peak Records sale this spring). Of course, I soon found out that was a second pressing, and seeing that the original wasn't that much more expensive, I had to secure one, which I've now done. There is no legit CD as I write this, though a pirate does exist. So straight to the CDRWL it went!
The original is on Long St. Records and features the cool psychedelic cover as mentioned in my notes above (1st scan). The Metalworks issue (1983) usurped a photo from the back cover of the original and blew it up for their front cover (3rd scan). I can understand that, given the audience it was trying to lure in. Though perhaps a fantasy warrior cover may have been more appropriate.
As an aside, Metalworks was a sublabel of importer/label Jem Records, who were clearly trying to tap into the burgeoning heavy metal market. As far as I can tell, this is the only full length album to be released, before abandoning the project. They certainly had the right idea, and one has to look at their execution as an example of poor business judgement. Time has proved they made a costly mistake, and Jem ultimately ended up bankrupt in 1988 (for various reasons).