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White Crone – The Poisoner Award winner

White Crone
The Poisoner
by Rachel Montgomery at 27 March 2020, 2:41 AM

What happens when you combine goth metal with older acts like BLACK SABBATH and HEART? You get WHITE CRONE, a wonderful act combining DIO and the vocal stylings on Annie Wilson of HEART with goth metal classics like TRISTANIA. Award-winning blues artist Lisa Mann is putting her love of metal into action. For the last two years, she poured her blood, sweat, and tears to create her debut metal album “The Poisoner”. Her hard work really paid off, as this is one of the best traditional metal albums I’ve listened to this year.

The opening song, “The Dream Of Tiamat” pulls no punches. It’s a hard-hitting song with a macabre bass and harmonized, tuned-down guitars that till sound crisp. However, I knew there was something special with this album when the vocals came on. They feature the same sultriness of Wilson and have an incredible operatic quality on the contralto end of the spectrum. This is refreshing since gothic and symphonic metal, let alone music in general, favors sopranos. The guitars are also on point, as evidence by the work in the solo. Not only is it tight, but it contrasts the lower timber of the song nicely with higher-pitched notes and a faster tempo.

I absolutely love all these songs. They have a vintage tone but feel like a breath of fresh air. And can I say, I love the bass opening to “The Poisoner”? I adore the harmonies that come in with the squealing lead guitar, and the timber of the singer’s voice? It’s like an early metal song with a contemporary edge. I love the vocal opening in “Into The Abyss”. The instrumental interludes are also a nice touch and keep variety in the album; they’re also beautiful and add a touch of elegance to the rough edges of the album. Each lyrical theme feels like a DIO or a RAINBOW ballad, and I could easily see this as a product of the 1970s, with the added plus of timeless, clear production. The closing track, “18 Rabbit”, is a 1970s hard-rock style ballad. The lyrical style and the rushing drumbeat remind me of an early power metal song. I could see RAINBOW doing a song like this. I love how the guitar solo goes from a stilted staccato to these long, lyrical notes. It’s a fitting closing track that cements this album in greatness.

Overall, the album has a wonderfully classic vibe that draws from refreshing sources and doesn’t sound like every other traditional metal band riffing from 80s acts. The fresh inspiration and the gothic tones really stand out and combine with the proto-power metal influence in an amazing way. If you’re a fan of traditional metal, especially the darker and edgier fare, this album is definitely for you!

Songwriting: 10
Production: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Dream Of Tiamat
2. The Poisoner
3. To The Abyss
4. Our Sacred Duty
5. Broken
6. The Seven Gates of Hell
7. New Planet Earth
8. Internment
9. Edge of Gone
10. Melancholia
11. Under Hag Stones
12. 18 Rabbit
Lineup:
Lisa Mann – Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Larry London – Drums
Vinny Appice - Drums (on “Under Hag Stones”)
Mehdi Farjami - Guitars (on “The Dream Of Tiamat” and “The Seven Gates Of Hell”)
Caton Lyles - Percussion (on "Broken")
Kevin Hahn - Additional Guitars
Record Label: Independent
     


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