The Crown
Doomsday King

Upon hearing the news that The Crown, one of the most revered, and one of my personal favorite death/thrash bands were reuniting, I was ecstatic. I was slightly disappointed that vocalist Johan Lindstrand would not be involved, assuming he’s too busy with his lame post-The Crown band One Man Army, but ultimately thought things should work out fine without him. It’s The Crown after all. My anticipation was finally quelled when I saw the album promo was available for preview, but after a couple spins, I found myself seriously underwhelmed.

I suppose The Crown‘s edge was lost these past several years while it’s members dabbled in various projects of differing nature, because Doomsday King is lacking. Where’s the bite, the relentless ferocity and the gut punching riffs of Deathrace King or the Tomas Lindberg fronted Crowned in Terror (or the re-recorded Crowned Unholy for the Lindstrand purists)? Simply put, it’s not here. Or not in consistent quantity anyway. It does surface occasionally, showing brief glimpses of what once made them great.

The opening title track starts things off well, even if it’s beginning is misleading with a doom-like riff and bells, which instantly reminded me of Black Sabbath of all things. But this was not to be for long as the actual song kicked in with some fantastic viscous riffing and the first sounds of new vocalist Jonas Stalhammer, who at first seems adequate, but soon reveals himself to be extremely one dimensional. It was at this point that I realized the vocals were much too high in the mix. Follow-up “Angel of Death” (seriously? Come on now) keeps things moving along nicely with some infectious riffing and bits of double bass battery. From here, it goes downhill, fast.

“Age of Iron” is full of bland riffs, but does have one redeeming factor in some excellent solo work, and “The Tempter and the Bible Black” is a complete bore. “Soul Slasher” tries admirably to bring the proceedings back to life with the occasional ass kicking riff and frantic pace, but doesn’t quite match up to the opening pair. “Blood O.D.” flirts with both awesome and the mundane, not knowing what it wants to do.

“Through Eyes of Oblivion” is another high mark with more great, ear-catching riffing and relentless nature. “Desolation Domain” dives back into blandness, but is saved by the excellent “From The Ashes I Shall Return” with stellar riffing and brief spurts of blast beats. This once again doesn’t last as album closer “He Who Rises In Might” finishes things off on a negative note. It could perhaps be the most viscous track on the album, but that doesn’t save it from being boring at six minutes in length, in which it seems to just drag on.

Doomsday King has it’s moments, but is equaled by the bland and uninspired, making for an utter disappointment from a band with the pedigree that of The Crown. Here’s to hoping their next outing lives up to their known potential.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
October 25th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    Usually I agree with your reviews staylow but between praising the new Witchery (which almost lured me into a coma) and giving low marks to this (a much stronger album than Possessed 13 and a strong return to form) I’m becoming a little concerned! ;-)


  2. Commented by: stiffy

    I kind of thought this review reflected the way most felt about this album. It doesn’t compare to any of their good albums (even if it is better than Possessed. That album sucked) and it’s pretty generic I thought. I was disappointed for sure.


  3. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Still haven’t heard this yet…. but Im really looking forward to it. Im sure they will never top Deathrace King or Hell is Here, but this is the first and only negative review I’ve heard of this album.

    Stalhammer’s vocals have always been great to my ears, and as soon as I heard that he was in The Crown, it sounded like a perfect match.To be fair, Lindstrand, while having personality was also a very one dimensional vocalist, as was Lindberg (although the one dimension he has is very,very good).


  4. Commented by: Andy Synn

    Ha, this is almost the exact opposite of my review for the album, Right down to the song’s referenced as good/bad.

    Personally I love it. It’s been spinning repeatedly on my stereo (or more usually, my itunes) and I can’t get enough of it. It sits proudly by Deathrace King imo.


  5. Commented by: Dan

    I’m reserving judgment. It’s easy to forget that guys probably haven’t been sitting around for seven years writing hyper-speed death-thrash and you can’t just sit down and return to the spirit that fueled the classics. Even if this one’s a little rocky, my hopes are high for the follow-up. Maybe they’ll be back in the groove by then.


  6. Commented by: plasma

    Yeah, agree with the review. I’ve been spinning this a lot, but it still hasn’t grabbed me. It just doesn’t sound like The Crown that I know from Deathrace King or Crowned in Terror — and it has nothing to do with the new vocalist. It just feels incredibly uninspired, and the production values are awful. Please, if you do record another album go back to Fredrik Nordstrom.


  7. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    I think its ok. Solid but nothing special. I had high expectations that were not completely met.


  8. Commented by: Brutalicon

    catchy album, seriously kick ass. Can’t agree with the review. the first track blasts off and it goes from there. I think I will listen to it now :)


  9. Commented by: emperorjvl

    Pretty much agree with the review… drums are too low in the mix, vox too high and one-dimensional. And maybe it’s just me, but all these songs sound the same… :(


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