Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 8/9/2004
posted on 8/2004 By:
This has to go down as one of the more unusual metal releases in recent history. For those that aren’t current on the state of the Crown, they decided to split after releasing their last album, Possessed 13. After the recording of their excellent album of hardened death/thrash mayhem, Deathrace King, they parted ways with vocalist Johan Lindstrand. His big boots were filled by none other than Tomas Lindberg (if you don’t know this name, I question your dedication to modern metal) for 2002’s Crowned in Terror. After a few bouts of touring, Lindberg left, and Lindstrand rejoined. Apparently, they must have really kissed and made up, because they felt it necessary to re-record and re-release Crowned in Terror with Johan on vocals, for completion’s sake. This second-chance release is the subject of today’s dissection, Crowned Unholy.
This whole jumbled mess makes for a difficult album to properly review. I don’t want to simply review it like a new album, as I thought the original version was an excellent release, one of 2002’s finest. Really though, I’m just left wondering, “Why bother?” The production on this new version is slightly heavier and slightly muddier, with more rumbling of the bass, and a typical Crown guitar tone. CIT’s sound almost felt geared more towards Lindberg’s vocal styles, along with the songwriting itself. Personally, I liked the original mix more, but this is a Crownier sound. They added in a few new elements into the original structure, to mixed results. First is the appearance of the dreaded clean vocals in a few spots, including “The Speed of Darkness”. Now why would The Crown, of all bands, decide it was necessary to include cleans? As it stands, they detract from the overall song. Comparing Lindberg and Lindstrand, one finds only a few differences, when it comes to this album’s songs.
As for the songs contained within, if you owned CIT there is no reason whatsoever to purchase this, unless you are a true fanatic. All 11 songs are the same, with only the most minor of variation. If you’ve never heard the original of this album, the easiest approximation, would be to add a pile of grooving death metal to a late-era At the Gates album. Fast, heavy, and unrelenting. While the riffage is thrashy and occasionally melodic, the drumwork is pure DM style. “Under the Whip” features vicious choppy riffage. “Death is the Hunter” brings that good ol’ Death’n’Roll sound that they are known for. Lastly, the album closer, “Death Metal Holocaust” is as brutal as they’ll ever be. Straightforward, solid death metal, just the way it needs to be.
I’m still confused as to what the point of this release is. If it’s for their own conscience, then fine, but I hope that they aren’t expecting to sell many copies of a re-released version of the album-before-last. Were it a new album, I’d score it normally, but since there aren’t any new songs, I can’t give a songwriting score. For reference, I’d give the original a triple 5. My advice is that if you already own Crowned in Terror, there is nothing for you here. If you don’t have the original but want it, then this recording is for you, and those that will devour anything Crown.
Register to post comments.