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Crom - Into the Glory Land Award winner

Crom
Into the Glory Land
by Kevin Lewis at 18 January 2022, 12:28 PM

CROM is a German band formed in 1997. Into The Glory Land is their first release for the new label, From the Vaults Records. A five-song extended play (EP), “Into the Glory Land” is Heavy Metal with serious Epic/Power Metal overtones. Released on December 3, 2021, this album is but a preview of what 2022 is likely to hold.

The first song is the title track. It starts with a killer drumbeat, part tribal, part war drums. The guitar intro is fairly melodic, then comes the main riff with a shredding solo over the top of it. The song is fast and furious with driving drums that rely heavily on double bass and extended rides on a cymbal. The variable patterns for the drumming keep the song interesting, yet on track. The bass acts more like a rhythm guitar than a bottom-end rhythm instrument. The layered and channel shifting vocals add some playfulness to the serious song.

Riding Into the Sun” is a ripper. That guitar riff is powerful and tasty. Again, the rhythm instruments are not just holding a pace or setting a pattern, they’re blazing a path. They are as much a highlight of the music as the vocals and guitars. The guitar solo is melodic and really well done. The faster segments are not overpowering, instead fitting into the feel of the song beautifully. The chanted vocals add a lot of depth to the tone of the song.

A surprise song on this disc is “The Hanging Tree,” a cover of a song from The Hunger Games movie. Written by THE LUMINEERS, the song is slow and nothing like the rest of the record but is very well-done. The acoustic sounds, tribal style drums and vocalizations show a completely different tone for this group. Even the following song, “Wings of Fire (Acoustic Version),” has a different feel, even with both being largely acoustic. Strangely enough, these two songs show a softer side, but still carry a lot of power in their delivery.

Closing out this EP is the ballad “Song to Hall Up High.” One of the first things to notice in this song is the piano and string arrangements. Melancholy and dark, the tonality is haunting. I’m always amazed when a band the tends towards the heavier end of the metal spectrum can pull off a song like this, especially when they do it so effortlessly. This is not strained, nor do they sound unnatural in this realm. Quite the contrary, they sound graceful and completely at ease. This is one of the most impressive feats on this record.

CROM is not easy to fit into a neat package with a quick description. The variety of tones and tempos and textures on this record is pretty astounding. From gentle string arrangements to shredding guitars, they run the gamut. They do all of this with grace and poise. Here’s to what is hopefully a creative and plentiful 2022!

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Into the Glory Land
2. Riding into The Sun
3. The Hanging Tree
4. Wings of Fire - Acoustic Version
5. Song to Hall Up High
Lineup:
Walter “Crom” Grosse – Vocals/Choir/ Lead Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/Bass
Thomas Hagl – Drums
Steve Peyerl – Lead Guitar
Record Label: From the Vaults Records
     


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