Monday, December 22, 2014

Album Review: "Death's Not Dead" by The Crown

Death's Not Dead
Again we return to my personal favorite metal subgenre: Death Metal.

Our subject today is not from my native shores of the United Sates of America, but from far across the pond in Trolhattan, Sweden.

There must be something to the long winter nights that turns their young people really, really metal.

The Crown is hardly a new band, though this is their third name. Their first, Crown of Thorns had to be dropped following an injunction by the American band of the same name.

Then some legal wrangling and they're back at it. Though, it's been 15 years since their last album and many years after their original breakup, this album features four of the five original members, only guitarist, Robin Sorqvist lacks the original pedigree, but let us move onto the music.

The Crown
If I had to choose the two bands that I felt most exemplified what The Crown does...

It would be Entombed and Metallica, both in nearly equal parts.

Metallica has always been the kings of the guitar riff in metal and The Crown does their level best to knock Metallica down a peg.

Entombed has always been on the forefront of Swedish death metal and their own brand of Death'n'Roll. Though very heavy and extreme, they're not going to out brutal lifers like Carcass or Obituary, much less newcomers like Fisthammer.

The riffs are crushing. With a mindblowing variety of styles. Hyper fast, midtempo, and more. The listener is kept guessing as each track begins. Following the death metal formula is not what The Crown did on this record.

Many times in extreme metal, the vocals are laughable and one has to wonder if the band actually wrote any lyrics, but here there is a nice death metal growl, but still something that sounds like a human and sounds like words.

Harmonies, long melodic solos, and little fills flesh out the rest of this very fine record.

Release:  1/13/15
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Century Media
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