Death Is Still Very Much Alive
That Swedish winter can really do something to a human being. This time it has (as it always does) produced another album from their hometown heroes, The Crown.
Since forming in 1990, The Crown have been dishing out quality melodic death metal records. Like a sledgehammer salesman at home depot, these guys just keep unleashing crushing song after crushing song. They kept on delivering until 2004 when the band went their separate ways. Five years later, the band reformed and inked a deal with century media, which lead to the release of their ninth studio album, Death is Not Dead.
The first song on the album, “Reign,” is more of an introduction. It’s an instrumental build that dove tails itself right into the album’s first single, “Headhunter”.
“Headhunter” is an interesting song by The Crown. It almost could come from any hardcore record that came out this year, and it’s got the big “chugga-chugga” riffs that you hear dominating the scene these days. However, by the end, it pulls you into a full death metal bridge and it becomes more of their style. No wonder this song is the first single.
“Iblis Bane,” the third song on Death is Not Dead, has a much more familiar Crown-sound. The drums on this song are the fastest on the album and the guitar riff is absolutely brutal. It slows down in the bridge section, with their lead guitarist, Marko Tervonen, really putting down the solos. Johan Lindstrand, a legend in the death metal world, still proves he’s got it after almost three decades of playing music.
The fourth track on Death Is Not Dead, “Eternal,” is nothing short of a brawl. Unlike the other songs on the album, “Eternal” is not nearly as fast as the others, but it’s groove allows you to get a sense of how heavy this band can get. Parts of this song could be ripped straight from any Sludge or Doom album. It’s a powerful example of how this band has learned to ebb and flow between sub genres in metal to keep themselves relevant.
Overall, this album is another notch in the bedpost for these death metal pioneers. They have once again proven that youth means nothing in this business; longevity can be relevant. Death is metal is – as always – not dead.