By Doug Moore
For those who don't remember: Crisis were an oddball NYC-based progressive metal band who put out four albums between the mid-'90s and the mid-aughts. Though they never broke through to a wide audience, they developed a cult following, largely thanks to frontwoman Karyn Crisis's vocals -- a dynamic mewl-to-growl range of deliveries that recalls Mike Patton's chameleonic voice.
Crisis (the band) kicked the bucket in 2006, but Crisis (the person) has remained periodically active as a visual artist and singer; her most recent appearances include a guest spot on Giant Squid's 2009 masterpiece The Ichthyologist and the lead vocal performance on the Italian progressive metal unit Ephel Duath's 2013 LP Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness. (She and Ephel Duath composer/guitarist Davide Tiso are married.)
Crisis must've found the process of recording that Ephel Duath album rewarding, because together with Tiso, she's put together a lineup for an upcoming solo album under the name Gospel of the Witches. (Presumably after the book that provided the foundation for modern Wicca; this is a woman who offers paid psychic readings, after all.) Along with Crisis on vox and Tiso on guitars, the album will feature performances from Ross Dolan of Immolation on additional vocals and drummer Danny Walker (Intronaut, Exhumed, Phobia, Uphill Battle).
That lineup alone is enough to make this project noteworthy, but there's a catch: Crisis is funding the project via Kickstarter. Personally, I'm always a little skeptical of music-related crowdfunding, especially when the impetus for going the crowdfunding route in this case appears to be "record labels are a bummer." But maybe you feel differently! If you do, the campaign offers a variety of rewards for your dough, from the basics ("Digital copy of album, Karyn Crisis photo Thank You," $8) to some far more exotic, big-ticket deals, like this one:
Pledge $4,000 or more:Nobody's sprung for the painting yet, but if you're the #1 Karyn Crisis superfan and you have a few grand lying around, it could be yours.
You get to collaborate with Karyn via Skype video for 30 minutes to conceptualize a large painting, oil on canvas, that will also become your own one-of-a-kind GOTW album Vinyl and CD cover. In the meanwhile, you will receive email updates as to the painting's progress, and receive a digital download of the album to tide you over. You will own this painting. Plus, handmade hardbound lyric book at Tshirt. Also included: original sketches, mock-ups for album artwork, lyrics journals, and other prototypes for the cd and album artwork packages, digital download of album.
The campaign currently has 15 days left to go and has raised about $6,000 of its $15,000 goal. (Since this is Kickstarter, it has to reach that goal in order for the project to go forward.) You can read more about the album here; if you're already a believer, you can pledge here. The campaign page also hosts a pair of stripped-down (and strangely non-embeddable) demo versions of songs from the album. You can also watch the pitch video and stream an old Crisis tune and that Ephel Duath record below; between all that, you should be able to get a good sense of what to expect from Gospel of the Witches.
Videos and streams below...
Karyn Crisis Kickstarter Video
Crisis - Methodology