(This is DGR’s review of the new album by the Swedish band Night Crowned, which is out now on the Noble Demon label.)
It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we found ourselves checking in with Night Crowned and their first full-length release, Impius Viam. Granted; a large part of that feeling is attributable to us missing the boat on the late-February release and coming around to it eight months later. Yet even considering that, you’d have to admit that returning to the stage a year and a half later with a follow-up release is a pretty quick turnaround time.
That prospect can be terrifying, since albums released year-over-year can be pretty hit-or-miss depending on how prolific the musician is, and on top of that last year was just generally a fucking mess. When given such a massive amount of time to be trapped inside, what else is a musician likely to do other than create, and it seems like that is the path Night Crowned chose.
The group’s second full-length came out via Noble Demon in early July and plays fully into the moodier-sibling aspect that one expects from any growing family. Bearing album art now fully in black and white, lyrics and song titles mostly in Swedish, and a less-packed run time where the only peaceful bit is the title song, Hädanfärd is a ferocious follow-up. It leans much more on the extreme side of things, and save for a few surprising deviations with clean vocal lines, it is the sort of release that never lets up, playing fully into the apocalyptic blastfest one expects from a group veering further into their black-metal inspirations.