Crysys was an American metal band that released just this one album in their career. The year was 1981, and there weren’t that many American metal albums to keep track of. These were some really down years for U.S. metal and hard rock. Scant few heavy bands were on major labels at the time. Crysys, like fellow American heavy metal bong-loaders Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road, went the indie route in 1981. Hard As Rock was released on Long St. Records (for all I know, this may have been self-financed by the band… or their parents). In 1983 Hard As Rock came out on the Metalworks label with a different cover (see below). The new cover photo was actually just the back cover of the original LP. It is this 1983 version (on cassette) that I have in my grubby hands.
Like many NWOBHM albums of the same time period, it is the low-budget, underground sound of Hard As Rock that makes it an endearing listen. One of my favorite cuts is Blue Steel, which houses a simple, but catchy main riff. Oddly, the vocals on this track sound like they were emanating from across the street (and through a megaphone), but it’s all good. Another highlight is the semi-ballad Touch Me, although it’s too damn short. I wish Crysys had put a little more time into fully developing this tune, because I think it could have been great.
Okay, so I guess I can’t get too carried away. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Hard As Rock is an essential masterpiece. So why all my excitement? I dunno. I guess I really have to respect any American band that proudly flew the flag of metal when it wasn’t necessarily the cool thing to do. My score: B