As you can see, we’ve made it to 10 installments of this list, and this one brings the total number of songs identified so far to 30. If I’m able to continue at the current pace, revealing another 3 songs every weekday from now to the end of the month (when I’m going to try to force myself to stop), we’ll reach a grand total of 19 Parts and 57 songs, so we’ve now crossed the halfway mark. On the other hand, I might decide to throw in one more segment at some point so we have an even 20 Parts and 60 songs.
By the way, you’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.
THE CROWN (Sweden)
Andy Synn snagged our review of The Crown‘s latest opus, Royal Destroyer, which arrived in time to help the band celebrate their 30th anniversary last year. He exclaimed:
Oh, what a record it is, just pummelling you in the face, again and again, song after song, with a seemingly endless array of humongous, hook-heavy riffs, abrasive, anthemically-aggressive vocals, and terrifying, turbo-charged drums, all delivered with the unrelenting energy and enthusiasm of a band half their age….
Ultimately it’s the strength of their songwriting which really makes this record work, running the gamut from the gut-churning thrash ‘n’ chug of “Let the Hammering Begin!” and the rapid-fire riff-fest of “Motorbreath” to the massive, moody stomp of “Glorious Hades” and the full-throttle extremity of “Devoid of Light”, and everything in between….
If there was ever any doubt about it, this album proves, once and for all, that The Crown are undeniable and undisputed Death Metal royalty.
No doubt about that in my mind. My only doubt is whether I picked the most infectious song on an album brimming with them, because it was a close call. “Motorbreath” won the day, in part because of the voodoo-infused video. You’ll see a lightning bolt on bassist Magnus Olsfelt‘s instrument strap. Honestly, for this song, every member could have proudly worn lightning bolts branded into their faces.
Roughly three years ago Andy devoted a Synn Report to this Pennsylvania-based duo and summed up their discography as it then existed as “several hours of warped and twisted, tumultuously technical and deviously discordant Black/Death Metal which doesn’t really sound exactly like anyone, or any thing, else out there.”
Since then they’ve released two more albums, including last year’s Lurkers In the Capsule of Skull, which continued to challenge. discombobulate, and electrify listeners in equal measure. I had the pleasure of premiering a song from that most recent album in the run-up to its release, and perhaps for that reason it’s the one that has stuck in my skull the most deeply.
There are many elements in the song that grab me all over again every time I hear it, including the squirming harmonized riff that opens the song, the hooks that become manifest in the skipping and darting drum rhythms, the vocal shift from horrifying howls, cauterizing screams, and gruesome roars to wild wailing cries in one of the song’s most eye-popping moments, and the unearthly reverberations of a guitar solo that’s somehow both freakishly exotic and hypnotic.
I also noted at the time of the premiere that for all its unexpected and frightening contortions — and there are many — it’s remarkably addictive. It still is — and so here I add “Vault of Haunting Dissolve“ to this list.
I had to laugh at DGR‘s suggestion of a song from the album for this list: “Why not, let’s hit them with the eight minute fucker”. Although the song is actually close to 9 than 8 minutes.
But yes, why the hell not? “The Accuser” is a hell of a song. As Andy wrote, it’s an “elegant blend of mood-drenched melodies and pounding riffs occasionally drawing comparison with the best (and heaviest) bits of Between the Buried and Me“. And as proggy, as wide-ranging, and as head-spinning as the song is, it’s a catchy monster too.