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The Crown - Death Is Not Dead

The Crown
Death Is Not Dead
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 January 2015, 11:12 AM

THE CROWN is a seasoned Melodic Death/Thrash Metal band from Trollhattan, Sweden. This is their eighth studio album to date, and contains eleven tracks. “Death Is Not Dead” is the somewhat programmatic title of Swedish THE CROWN’s 8th album and marks a bold sonic statement showing the thrashing death metal lunatics at the top of their game.

Profiting from the return of original front man Johan Lindstrand, his merciless voice thrones above a barrage of riffs, insane paces and twisted song structures destined to please any THE CROWN supporter since day one. The slow, intentional opening of “Reign” sets the stage for the ensuing attack of “Headhunter.” A mid tempo Thrash song, it is a riff driven piece that takes full advantage of the gravely vocal style of Johan Lindstrand. The echo in his voice gives the listener the feeling of being on a desolate and far away patch of burned out land, still fuming from the fires. “Eternal” is another heavy, powerful track that walks the line between what you would come to know about Thrash and Death Metal. The focus here is on more bottom-heavy notes and the slow and steady riffing. It isn’t until “Struck By Lightning” that we hear some faster and more rhythmic speed picking more indicative of the traditions of Thrash Metal. They really hit the nail hard in “Speed Kills.” I love the simple but memorable melody of the main riff, and the way the vocals carry the verses. “Herd of Swine” has a swifter tempo complete with some double bass and speed picking. There is a fitting guitar solo section here as well. This might be the best song on the album. It is dark, deep and guttural.

“Horrid Ways” presents the first real glimpse of guitar harmonies in the chorus reminiscent of Melodic Death Metal, but it is short lived. I love the opening soft, acoustic guitar passages in “Meduseld” as well, and the way is segues into the main riff. It is assertive without being overbearing, and although it is an instrumental, it allows their sound to breathe some more. Closing the album is the crushing weight of “Godeater,” and another balls-out aggressive sound. While there is no denying the history of the band and the well-oiled product that you have associated with their sound, I found the album lacking in dynamic shifting and overall creativity.

A little too many of the tracks suffer from the same vocal range and mid-tempo haze, which made it hard to distinguish one track from another. Purists and fans will not be disappointed with the new album here, but I was just hoping for more distinguished elements.

3 Star Rating

1. Reign
2. Headhunter
3. Iblis Bane
4. Eternal
5. Struck by Lightning
6. Speed Kills
7. Herd of Swine
8. Horrid Ways
9. Ride to Ruin
10. Meduseld
11. Godeater
Johan Lindstrand – Vocals
Robin Sorqvist – Lead Guitar
Marco Tervonen – Rhythm Guitar
Magnus Olsfelt – Bass
Record Label: Century Media Records


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