The Crown have been slashing throats and shredding eardrums for over 20 years; 30 if you include their first incarnation as Crown Of Thorns. High off the critical and fanbase accolades for their prior album, Cobra Speed Venom, the band is enjoying the recognition of their revered early records. Deservedly so, because the band is still releasing unrelenting, crushing death metal riffage and brutality. The album is out now, as they continue their legacy on Metal Blade with Royal Destroyer.
The Crown do not deny a certain formula to begin with or establish a template for a record. But they challenge themselves and their fans each outing. Royal Destroyer has those moments of variety and testing boundaries with “We Drift On” and “Beyond the Frail” on Royal Destroyer, exploring a slow, doomy sludge swamp. But their meat and potatoes still fuel most tracks. The variety of thrash, death ‘n’ roll, death metal, death-doom gives enough fodder for the band to exorcise their rage and exercise their talents. And enough meat, potatoes, and gravy for fans to bite into.
Witness the opener, “Let the Hammering Begin!” for relentless speed and vicious riffs. Noted as an homage to Slayer’s Jeff Henneman, the six minutes of brash punishment is centered around Henrik Axelson’s malicious drumming. So tight. “Hammering”, indeed. For fans, the song is also a glorious reuniting with Johan Lindstrand’s voracious growling as the album commences. His vocals are commanding; exhibiting depth and power.
The Crown relish in the thrashy Death ‘n’ Roll established by Swedish brethren like Entombed. The track, “Motorbreath” epitomizes this. The song embodies the feel and simply rolls over anything in the way. “Ultra Faust” boasts a groove through six minutes with a brutal breakdown in the middle. “Glorious Hades” is another brash offering, scorching. Lindstrand dominates with his vocals; grand and sneering.
“Full Metal Justice” flashes classic Crown with an incendiary atmosphere. “Scandanavian Satan” repeats the process with a fresh feel. Magnus Olsfelt’s bass joins forces with Marko Tervonen’s and Robin Sörqvist’s guitars. The riffs written are straight savage. Check the more grinding riff presented on “Devoid of Light”, twisting and disabling.
Royal Destroyer is a cohesive beast. Potent music for fans new and old. Royal Destroyer is gritty and dirty, but with a big presence; never too polished. Infusing thrash and death metal for a impressive expansion on these legend’s repertoire. Kneel before metal royalty. Hail The Crown
Purchase Royal Destroyer on marbled vinyl through the Metal Blade shop.