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Crone - Godspeed

by Caleb Kerns at 15 May 2018, 6:46 AM

Coming from the depths of Hamburg, Germany, is the Progressive Dark Rock band CRONE. Their style isn't the overtly complex and technical brand of Progressive Metal, but the kind that focuses more on creating emotional landscapes for the listeners to wallow in. Like many Progressive bands have done in the past, their sophomore effort "Godspeed" is that of a concept album, telling somber stories of real life calamities and deaths. Every song on the album is dripping with the bleak undertones of lives who were tragically taken too soon.

The group clings on to many of the musical aesthetics of traditional heavy metal that were present in the 80's, but does so without coming across as cheesy. While the singer may be polarizing for some listeners, he manages to utilize a unique timbre that works well with the melancholic tone of their music. In a strange way, he almost reminds me of Bruce Dickinson if he were to ditch the piercing high vocals and focus solely on his lower register. The guitar work is what stands out the most for me. The solos are never too intricate, but they serve to further the emotional impact of the music rather than their own musical virtuosity. The drummer includes some nice fills throughout the album as well, while the bassist locks in tight to hold down the musical foundation.

Perhaps my biggest complaint is that the songs can be a bit monotonous. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't some shining moments in the album. "Leviathan's Lifework" features a galloping build-up that leads into an epic chorus with soaring vocals from singer Phil Jonas. "H" makes an interesting use of horns that creates an immense sound that stands out from the rest of the album. The band wraps things up with the lengthy title-track "Godspeed," which features an intriguing culmination of the band’s sound and is perhaps the strongest performance from the bassist. The band was wise to use "The Ptilonist" as a single, as the song contains all of the elements that are scattered throughout the album: bleak verses intertwined with an enormous chorus and impassioned guitar solos.

As a whole, the band manages to effectively channel the dreary tone that they had said out to convey. While I personally would have liked to hear more expansion on their sound, the group seemed to have a clear vision in mind and successfully gets that vision across. The production is decent enough to hear all of the instruments without overpowering each other, although it oddly sound like it was produced years ago. The music may seem a bit dated to some ears, but if you enjoy Dark Prog-Rock and have a penchant for 80's traditional metal, then this very well could be an album for you.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Lucifer Valentine
2. The Ptilonist
3. Mother Crone
4. The Perfect Army
5. Leviathan's Lifework
6. H (She's Not Dead, She in a Ghost)
7. Demmin
8. Godspeed
Phil Jonas - Guitars & Vocals
Pascal Heemann - Guitars
Markus Renzenbrink - Drums & Guitars
Daniel Meier - Bass
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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