I know I’m sounding like a fucking broken record when I say this, but I really didn’t know what to expect when I was first offered to review this new album from Swedish modern melodic death thrashers, Crowdburn. Many times you just get thrown brand new acts like this one, but that’s also one of my favorite things about this kind of work. See, to put it bluntly; these guys are fucking awesome. That’s not to say they’re unreal, but they’ve definitely got something of note here and I was certainly impressed with this debut effort.
But let’s not focus on that, because what we’ve got here is an album that reminds me of an uncanny combination of Soilwork’s melodic, yet technical leads, backed with Pantera’s balls out southern grooves – with just a little sprinkling of Devin Townsend for extra flavor. “Stars” is a dead-ringer for a peak era Soilwork track, with “Burning Crowd” reminding me of the knuckled up approach of Five Finger Death Punch, but with an unexpected twist. The song is a stickler for the mainstream, so why aren’t these guys more well-known? But not only that, these guys actually throw some worthwhile guitar solos into the mix. You wouldn’t expect that from a band of this type that would be more interested in the base elements, but hearing these well-crafted solos actually makes tracks like the fist-pumping “Pray” come off a bit more than just meat headed.
Now, when I said Devin Townsend, I don’t use that term (yes, I consider the man’s name a musical term these days) lightly, so I will describe where I’ve heard that influence and it’s ebbing in the chorus of “Sign Away Your Life” which is definitely one of the best modern melodic death songs I’ve heard in years. Bringing the choir in was one of the best things they could have done, and goddamn it; it’ll make these guys stand out. As for the original “Spiders Nest” it’s actually a hard rocker with a focus on southern riffing which includes another unforgettable chorus. I’m actually hearing latter Mudvayne influence on this one, and I’m a huge fan of those guys.
All this said and done, I think there’s a bit of a problem with the closer. I mean, it’s perfectly fine to end your disc with a light country influenced ballad. It’s definitely going to appeal to a few people and could get you radio play in my home state for sure; but does it really belong on a disc that’s as threatening as this one? But whatever you want to say about “Solid Harbour In A Lonely Sea” it’s definitely been placed right at the end of the album, leaving you to eventually confront it and make your own assumptions. On the other hand, one can’t fault them for being different.
There’s no doubt in my mind that a band this good needs to be heard, they need proper promotion and they should be touring with the best of the best in their home country. These guys even have a sound that would certainly find a home here in the United States too, so there’s no reason for these guys to stay unmentioned and unheard. Crowdburn is what comes after Soilwork in my opinion, it’s the evolution that was bound to happen and is well worth checking out for all fans of Soilwork, Pantera, Five Finger Death Punch, At The Gates, Devin Townsend and several hard rock radio acts. They’ve really got it all on this disc and I honestly cannot wait to hear more. (Eric May)
Purchase Ignition here: https://crowdburn.bandcamp.com/