Monday, August 29, 2016

Album Review: "The Others" by Northern Crown

Doom metal is as old as heavy metal itself, as Black Sabbath created both the genre and subgenre concurrently with the release of their debut album.  Not only is doom the first subgenre of metal, but the one which has survived the longest undiminished.


The later invention of power metal added a bombastic flare to metal which spawned great bands such as Iron Maiden, Dio, Halloween and Hammerfall. So when Northern Crown releases an album of Epic Doom Metal, which is essentially shorthand for the merging of these two genres, the expectations are lofty.

The first two tracks off this album The Others deliver in fine fashion. "With Malicious Eye" and "Surreality (The Tell-Tale Mind)" are compositions of crushing riffs and powerful, haunting vocals. The sound and the tempo reminded me of Candlemass with a hint of Iced Earth.

The third song "No One Came to Mourn Me" veers off script.  It is a slow, organ driven song which sounds more like new age electronic pop than metal. It was not to my tastes and I found it disappointing given the quality of the first two songs.  However, other listeners might enjoy this respite from the monstrous heaviness of the album's openers.

Two of the six musicians to appear on Northern Crown's The Others

The following song "Apostate" started decidedly unheavy as well, but at two minutes kicks back in with the power and conviction befitting the genre.Track number five "A Pox Upon Your House" is an atmospheric instrumental which had a medieval tone, yet was devoid of any metal stylings.  It does showcase the musicianship of the band.
The final song of the album the title track "Les Autres"  gloriously delivers with an emphatic return to the form of the first two songs.  The riffs here would make Tony Iommi himself proud. The solos are precise and perfectly complimentary, with expertly composed lyrics.

It is truly a fine example of what Epic Doom Metal can achieve, and stands apart as the defining song of the album.

The Others is an eclectic album which crosses many sonic territories, but really hits its stride when delivering the doom.

Release: October 14, 2016
Genre: Epic Doom Metal
Label: Self Released

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