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Skan – Death Crown

Death Crown
by Erik Akos at 28 April 2018, 3:12 AM

This SKAN album (their debut) has actually been my introduction to Blackened Death Metal… I could hardly consider it in that genre though.

If you read my previous reviews, you know that I have a strong dislike for orthodoxy and conventions. I think the most important thing musicians should strive for when working on their art is finding themselves, and giving birth to something that is truly theirs and theirs alone. Even if I don’t like it, I still appreciate a band giving a damn about developing a unique direction, or even just a different approach to older clichés. And – kind of unfortunately – this was also the case with "Death Crown”.

The record starts off with a 2 minute intro track which consists of creepy sounds and shrieks, background noises, y’know, the usual horror stuff. Then, when it cuts to the first actual song it’s, well… Blackened Death Metal, for a few minutes, before it becomes something that’s basically Metal Ambient. And that’s a pretty big problem. I think the idea they had with this LP is that they build a lot on atmosphere and only have about 30-40% of it actually be BDM, so it sticks and becomes the "memorable” aspect, I guess. But it failed. The atmosphere in the interludes and the longer songs’ quiet sections are cool. For the first 2 minutes. But by the fifth, you’ll probably skip the whole songs.

Let me elaborate. So, the problem with this whole atmosphere business is that there are these two parts to the songs on this thing (And to most music in general): atmosphere, and composition. VERY few acts manage to make the most out of both, but the secret is that you take old uncle Horace’s advice and you keep the artistic balance. And that’s exactly what the guys in SKAN didn't do. They relied too much on the ambience of the songs, so when that doesn’t work, there’s nothing left that can save it. Because if they had actual good songwriting on those parts, the lack of immersive atmosphere wouldn’t bother me that much.

Aaand, that’s the record summed up for you. Look guys, I think your approach to BDM is interesting, but based on the actual music here, I think you’ll need a few tries before you make an album that’s actually great. God bless.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 6
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Initium
2. Death Wish
3. A Mort
4. The Womb
5. Au Dela
6. Iron & Blood
7. Father Qayin
8. For The Love Of Death
Joseph Merino – Vocals, Guitars
Ron van Herpen – Guitars
Rob Zim – Bass
David Baxter – Drums
Record Label: Van Records


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