Mar 042021
 

 

(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Swedish death metal band The Crown, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Metal Blade will release the new record on March 12th.)

One thing I’ve learned, in all my years trapped on this primitive dirtball inhabited by psychotic apes, is that it doesn’t take much for human beings to give in to their tribalistic instincts.

Case in point, although we all know that music isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a competition, we sure do seem to love to pick our sides when it comes to pitting one band, or one genre, against another, and I’ll admit I’ve been just as guilty of this as anyone, especially in my younger days.

In fact, I remember quite clearly that, back in the early 2000s, when everyone else was still riffing on (and ripping off) Slaughter of the Soul I was that kid who was more than happy to tell whoever was willing to listen that they should be listening to Deathrace King instead, since The Crown were so obviously the superior band.

Of course, over the years I’ve grown up a lot and learned a fair few things, the most important of which is…

I was right. Continue reading »

Feb 172021
 

 

What follows is a collection of new songs and videos that different people messaged me about today, plus a few I had noticed in preceding days. With apologies to anyone who might care, I unfortunately don’t have the time to provide as many stumbling brilliant verbal descriptions of the music as I usually do, but nevertheless hope you enjoy all the sounds, as I have.

GOJIRA (France)

Born For One Thing“: feverish tumult with slightly industrialized grooves, trademark atonal pounding, and gripping rhythmic interplay, plus eerie melodic accents… definitely in their comfort zone, and very good…. Continue reading »

Jan 182019
 

 

Welcome to the 9th installment of this growing list, in which I’m turning back toward death metal with the two songs added today. To check out the previous installments, you’ll find them behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.

THE CROWN

The title of The Crown‘s latest album — Cobra Speed Venom — is so damned good. I’m not sure it really means anything, but the combination of those three words, especially in the context of The Crown‘s brand of music, just sounds metal AF. Very cool cover art too. Continue reading »

Jul 312018
 

 

As you can see, I have enough new songs and videos I’d like to recommend that I’ve divided them into two parts. I thought the first three in Part 1 belonged together because they all rock, albeit in very different ways. The first two are explosive, the third one crushes, and although the fourth one blasts instead of rocks, it reconnects with the energy of the first two and rockets it into the clouds.

THE CROWN

Our reviewer proclaimed Cobra Speed Venom as the best album by The Crown since the pinnacle of their career (which he identified as Possessed 13), and perhaps their best album, period, with the band “displaying a reckless sense of abandon” while putting “a lot of emphasis on fist-pumping anthemic melody”.

I also loved the album, and the song that’s the subject of the band’s new video is probably might favorite of all the tremendous ones to be found within Cobra Speed Venom. Continue reading »

Mar 212018
 

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new 10th album by Swedish stalwarts The Crown, which was released by Metal Blade on March 16th.)

Look at that fucking gorgeous cover art….

The Crown is a band that should be a go-to staple for any true hot-blooded metalhead. The band’s iconic blend of thrash, melodic death, death’n’roll, and straight death metal has been distinctive and, in this writer’s opinion, never really equaled. Johan Lindstrand has one of the most unique bestial voices in metal, the very materialization of a priest turned psychopath, preaching sermons of death and sickness. Marko Tervonen’s riffs feel like getting grenades lobbed at you constantly while you sprint for your life.

I’ve also always felt that over a long stretch of years The Crown have managed to release a pretty consistently baller discography. I don’t think you can classify a single album of theirs as mediocre, or even only “pretty good”. They have set a high standard… but have somehow surmounted it with this latest release. Continue reading »

Feb 172018
 


Augury – photo by Mélany Champagne

 

I made a resolution last night: I resolved that henceforth I will post no more than two premieres a day, and only one per day if it’s a full album stream. During the week just ended, I posted 14 premieres, and two of those were full albums.

I might not care about the volume if I could be content to write little more than, “Here — listen to this!”, and then just provide the music stream. But where’s the fun in that? Besides the fun, I feel a compulsion to include reviews with the premieres, even if only the bands or labels might pay attention to what I write. Given that mindset, working on a big flood of premieres tends to constrict my ability to do anything else — such as compile round-ups like this one.

Full disclosure: I’ve made resolutions like this one before, and couldn’t stick to them. Did I mention that we’ll have another premiere tomorrow? It’s really good!

Anyway, as you can see, this is a two-part round-up. I decided to collect some older arrivals in this first part, organized alphabetically. My colleague DGR suggested all of them for a newsy post that would have been timely if I’d been able to get it done when he made the suggestions. Maybe some of these will still be news to a few of you despite the delay. They also involve higher profile bands; I’ve got some lesser-known groups for Part 2. Continue reading »

Jan 082018
 

 

In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In Part 1 (here), I collected some newly discovered splits. This one is devoted mainly to new advance tracks, some of which just premiered today, with a few full-album or EP streams in the mix. Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Year-end lists… you just can’t kill em’. But Andy Synn has made a habit of crowning our annual LISTMANIA series with one final offering — his selection of the last year’s top songs — and this year is no different.)

Did you REALLY think I was done with lists? Are you really that naive? Oh, how foolish are those who are most willing to be.. umm… fooled. Or something.

Yes, it’s no secret I enjoy making lists, and as such have a particular fondness for the end-of-year period here at NCS, not just because it lets me indulge my numero-erotic list-making proclivities in full (and in public, no less) but also because I sincerely enjoy reading and debating all the other lists we publish and reference and, in the process, discovering bands I’d otherwise overlooked.

The hardest list to pull together though is the list of my favourite songs of the year. Not because of any hard-fought pretence of objectivity (there’s none of that here), but because there’s simply so many options to choose from, with my initial list coming in at well over 100 entries, each drawn from albums across the length and breadth of my Great/Good/Disappointing lists of last year.

But, finally… finally… I managed to whittle it down to the ten selections you’re about to encounter.

I’m not suggesting these are the definitive “Best” songs of the year by any means, they’re just ten tracks which have burrowed their way under my skin and into my brain the deepest.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Jan 122015
 


The Crown – photo by Patrik Skoglöw

(Karina Noctum rejoins us with the following e-mail interview of Magnus Olsfelt of Sweden’s The Crown, whose new album Death Is Not Dead was reviewed by our Andy Synn here and will be released on January 13 (tomorrow!) in the U.S. by Century Media.)

******

1. Ok, I would like to start with a little update about The Crown…

Ok we have the new album to be released next week and we will have a release party gig here in Gothenburg this saturday. Live drummer Henrik Axelsson will join us, but unfortunately he was rushed to the hospital yesterday with bad fever so let’s hope he can recover by Saturday!

 

2. What can the fans expect from the new album? Would you say that the fact that you guys were actually writing a The Crown album this time influenced the sound?

People can expect us doing a new album that we  have done our best and put a lot of effort into. We think it should be listened to as a whole experience, from beginning to end, to have the full ride, with ups and downs and everything. Continue reading »

Jan 092015
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming eighth studio album by Sweden’s The Crown.)

Don’t call it a comeback! Call it… actually, I don’t know quite what to call it. After all, it’s been quite a while (over four years, in fact) since The Crown released their original “comeback” album, Doomsday King, with new vocalist Jonas Stålhammar at the helm, and now they’re back again, with a new album and yet another shift in the line-up, as original guitarist Marcus Sunesson and original drummer Janne Saarenpää both departed the band before the new album was recorded.

Not only that, but Death Is Not Dead sees original vocalist Johann Lindstrand returning to the fold for the second time… replacing Stålhammar, who replaced him, after he replaced Lindberg, who replaced him originally… (confused yet?)

So, does this make Death Is not Dead the band’s real comeback album? I don’t know. But I do know that it means more of The Crown for me to salivate over. And that’s never a bad thing. Continue reading »