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Music Review: The Crown ‘Death Is Not Dead’
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Death Is Not Dead
The Crown
CD | MP3
Century Media Records
Release Date: January 13, 2015

You know, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t as a metal band. If you stick to a formula, people will say that you’re one dimensional or out of ideas. But if your new material doesn’t sound exactly like your classic stuff, so-called “fans” will bitch and moan about how you’ve “sold out.” It’s even tougher when you’re an underground band in a specific niche genre like death metal.

Swedish death metal veterans The Crown are currently finding themselves a bit in the latter category now with their new album Death Is Not Dead, which was released January 13, 2015 through Century Media Records.

The album finds The Crown veering toward a more traditional metal sound and in certain passages even classic hard rock territory. Becoming less “brutal” is usually not highly desirable in the world of death metal and the move has some “fans” of The Crown that I know and/or have seen commenting online less than pleased.

I, on the other hand, am a firm believer in the evolve or die Darwinism involved in creating art. Sometimes it works out well (Job For A Cowboy), sometimes not so much (looking at you In Flames). If I’m being honest, I wasn’t 100% on board with this album on first listen. Maybe due to the fact that the singer maintains his death metal growl even at the moments when the band begins to stray from tried and true territory. However, after several repeat listens, I can actually say that I have grown rather fond of it. Is it a masterpiece of death metal? No. But it is a very solid metal record.

Highlights include “Meduseld,” “Ride to Ruin,” “Speed Kills (Full Moon Ahead),” the killer “Iblis Bane,” and the record’s first single “Headhunter.”

Watch the video for “Headhunter here below. Warning: It contains graphic violence and is not suitable for children or the squeamish.

All in all, I’m very glad that something about this record intrigued me enough to give it a few spins before passing judgment. If you’re open minded and looking for a metal record that’s a bit more dimensional than your average death metal offering, you should positively give Death Is Not Dead a listen (or a few).

Rating 8/10

Track Listing

1. Reign
2. Headhunter
3. Iblis Bane
4. Eternal
5. Struck By Lightning
6. Speed Kills (Full Moon Ahead)
7. Herd Of Swine
8. Horrid Ways
9. Ride To Ruin
10. Meduseld
11. Godeater
12. We Come In Peace (Piece By Piece) *
13. Agent Orange *
*=bonus tracks

Line-Up

Johan Lindstrand – vocals
Marko Tervonen – guitars
Magnus Olsfeld – bass
Robin Șrqvist Рguitars

Video

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