Album Review: Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars
Posted by Irmelinis
Release Date: September 30th, 2014 on eOne Entertainment
Length: 53 minutes
Genre: Pushing limits in Progressive death metal
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Previous releases: Song of The Crippled Bull EP 2013
Recommended for fans of: Early Opeth, The Contortionist, Fallujah, Fleshgod Apocalypse
“…And we stand still, nothing worth changing, no cause to seek within our minds. There will never be another dawn here, a time where I’d feel, a time for taking and the path to freedom passed us by. Watch the waves and wither away here.”
By now all metalheads, who try to keep themselves updated on what’s happening in this style of music, must have heard about Black Crown Initiate. From the much deserved hype around the member’s impressive facial hair (see picture), the mindblowing 2013 EP “Song of The Crippled Bull”, to the tours with Behemoth, Septic Flesh, Goatwhore and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Add to that the growing anticipation over “The Wreckage of Stars” – the band’s first full length album, that’s been brewing in all corners the past year. We are a little late in publishing a review of it, the album has been out for two months already and is now starting to show up in many “Best of 2014”-lists.
Rightfully so. For a new band, only formed in February 2013, this is an incredibly well written debut. A tight release with such high quality that it sounds like it could have been created ten-fifteen years into their career. With three alternating vocalists, wild blast beats and groovy 8-string chugs these songs have a lot to offer the listener. The sound is balancing between classic death metal and a dynamic modern style, a little bit of everything has been thrown into the heavy mix, spiced up with a large dose of bleak but thrilling melodies.
There is a consistent theme in the songs; they pose tough and thoughtful questions influenced by Nietzsche’s nihilism and Buddhism, beautifully translated into symbolic poetry and handed to us mostly in the form of monstrous growls and fierce raspy shrieks. The ultra-heavy “The Human Lie Manifest” together with the thunderous “To The Eye That Leads You” are two of the best moments on the album, with inhuman speed and precision they march forward through catchy metallic riffs and stomping percussion. There’s no time for breathing until the atmospheric post rock-y title track begins, gently caressing the ears with a huge sound and tranquil guitars. The build-up is spectacular and the last two minutes present one of the best endings to a song I’ve ever heard. If that particular melody had continued into, and been the foundation of, the next track it would have been even better.
Black Crown Initiate is a band who prioritize their musical integrity and have been working hard in true DIY-style, grasping the opportunities available, paid for it themselves and with this they managed to build up a good reputation. “The Wreckage of Stars” certainly prove that they can live up to it, and more. Black Crown Initiate gets the blood pumping in both brain and body!
Score: 4.75 out of 5