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Night Crowned – Hädanfärd Award winner

Night Crowned
Hädanfärd
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 July 2021, 7:02 AM

NIGHT CROWNED is a Melodic Black Metal band from Sweden. They formed in 2016 and "Hädanfärd" is their second full length album; they have also released two "Hadanfard," is an incredibly well balanced and written album. From the beginning to the end, each track presents melodic black and death metal in a package with high production values.  Each song has a hook that just digs deep into you…and rips the skin apart but you'll still have a smile on your face because it is that enjoyable.

It could be a vocal passage, a chorus, a riff or a flowing keyboard laden backdrop but something within these songs will take a hold of you.  The first few minutes of the album will basically set up what you will expect for the rest of the remaining ones.  With that being said, this isn’t an album that confuses having an overall sound with a repetitive sound—each track is different enough so that nothing really runs together.

Despite all that I have said thus far about the album being an ear worm, that doesn't mean it isn't abrasive. NIGHT CROWNED is a band that possesses a razor sharp edge that goes hand in hand with their sense of melody. The first track, “Nattkrönt,” features some symphonic play in the beginning—not overbearing bust just enough to be theatrical without being corny.  The keys continue to sweep across the song and they work wonders alongside the clean vocals.  Guitarist J has a solid and emotional singing voice and he adds extra dimensions to the band.  The focus, however, is still on K’s blackened death growls and shrieks which are IMMENSE—I mean, this dude is a beast.

Nattkrönt” is includes a lot of different elements, including groove and keyboard only parts that just pepper the song with greatness.  This is inductive of the album as a whole so the flow is smooth all the way to the end. “Fjättrad,” takes a different approach by being a harder hitting track more and is geared more towards the sound and fury of black metal.  But among the searing vocals and sweltering drums, the melody peaks out from the guitars.  I love this because this more subtle use of melody mixed with a more aggressive nature keeps the song direct yet catchy.

NIGHT CROWNED isn’t afraid to turn their music on a dime too—but they do so without it being cluttered or too hectic.  “Gudars Skymning,” is a fine example of what I’m talking about. The main structure of the song is riff based but the guitar harmonies are never forgotten and with apparent easy the band switches between various styled riffs, melodic leads, and tempo changes.

The last two tracks are among the album’s best.  How many albums, even good ones, are front loaded?  “Hädanfärd,” is one big journey that needs to be taken from beginning to end because each stop on the way adds something. “GGrått & ödelagt,” begins ominous and creepy but K is the start of the show with his vocals that catch his accent while he does this well played spoken word voice, which leads into a tortured scream as the song bursts wide open around the 48 second mark.  A short but sweet guitar solo creatures the opening for a blazing speed run that in turn leads into a clean keyboard portion before the song gains intensity once more.

Englingen,” ends the album hard.  The riffs are badass and they just keep coming and coming.  The bass and drums are their own personal militia, dropping artillery that lays waste to the battleground and lets the other instruments march on through with unrelenting pace and focus.  Around the 1:38 mark, what amounts to the chorus hits HARD and lodged into my brain for days.

NIGHT CROWNED’sHädanfärd,” might be a style that has been done a thousand times before but it has been a long time since it was done with such passion and infectious energy.   This is highly recommended and it is well rounded enough for just about any metalhead to find something enjoyable in it.  Do not miss this one.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Nattkrönt
2. Rex Tenebrae
3. Fjättrad
4. Ett gravfäst öde
5. Hädanfärd
6. Gudars skymning
7. Människans förfall
8. Grått & ödelagt
9. Enslingen
Lineup:
K. Romlin - Vocals
H. Liljesand - Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
J. Jaloma - Drums
J. Eskilsson - Guitars (Lead), Vocals (Clean)
Record Label: Noble Demon Records
     


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