The Crown
Royal Destroyer

It’s 2021, there’s a new The Crown album out on Metal Blade Records, and they’ve decided to throw everyone for a loop by going to all clean choruses.

Just. Fucking. Kidding.

You already know what this sounds like, at least mostly, if you’re familiar at all with the band. If you’re not, I’m not sure what’s wrong with you. Maybe go see a proctologist for whatever you have jammed in your BH. I personally hold a lot of their back catalog, such as Deathrace King in high regard, yet their last one Cobra Speed Venom didn’t exactly tickle my butt hairs.

The first track, “Baptized in Violence” is barely worth a mention, but I’m obviously doing it anyway. It’s a short minute burst of death punk… Is that a thing? Anyway, the next track is called “Let the Hammering Begin!” Despite being a little upset that they stole the title for my leaked amateur porn, this is where things really get going. Also, the exclamation point is in the title. This is a pretty standard, yet stellar The Crown melodic death metal track we expected.

“Ultra Faust,” track 4, is an early standout, even though it’s over 6 minutes. It begins with some semi-whispered vocals and takes about a minute before it sounds like The Crown you know and (maybe) love. The chorus is instantly repeatable. The last 2 minutes of the track are the best though as it seems as if the track is about to fall apart before that chorus hits again, then there’s a bit of a deathy dirge to end the track.

I’ll mention “Scandinavian Satan” next because it’s another standout to me, if only because of the little cowbell hits right before the choruses. It’s subtle, but a nice addition to an otherwise standard, yet really good track.

Two of the best tracks are the last ones, “We Drift On” and “Beyond the Frail.” The former is almost a ballad with its slower pace, but there are no surprise clean vocals here. It has more of a death doom feel. The latter is a stellar, albeit standard track from the boys, with the final minute giving way to some cleaner guitars to end the album.

Well, that was neat, wasn’t it? That’s my thought when I finished up this new album. I do have some minor grievances, however. It’s worth mentioning that the mix leaves a lot to be desired. Frequently, the guitars are buried and there’s no heft. However, it’s catchy, and I enjoy this album more than I have the last few from these guys. You know you’re not getting anything radically different here. What you are getting, however, is my favorite album of theirs in quite some time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 8th, 2021

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