Saturday, October 29, 2016

CD Review: NORTHERN CROWN "The Others" (Independent) by Reggae

This was a surprise! Again, a band I'd heard nothing of previously, to be fair this is their debut album after having released an EP a couple of years previous. This album contains some very accomplished songwriting and musicianship for a debut album so I’m not sure if the members have had previous bands or not but either way what you have here is a very easy to listen to slab of music.
The bands website and promo describe them as "doom" but I have to say I wouldn't agree with them on that. There are some slow chuggy doom parts but it's a hard one to categorize as it fits within the traditional metal and prog genres with hints of black metal, maybe it has a more 'goth' feel to it. They might even be considered the Pink Floyd of heavy metal. Categorizations aside, the songs themselves tend to be on the longer end of the scale with some great metal riffs and some very trance inducing soundscapes utilizing keyboards and other instruments rather well also utilizing some aspects of electronic music and some very tasty clean melodic moments... It makes for great chill out music, great for listening to in the dark or falling asleep to. The riffage while slow is never boring, there are many trance like parts invoking images of ancient Rome, or Sumerian/Middle eastern passages where the guitars/keys/wind instruments mix together perfectly. The vocals are simply superb, solid metal clean vocals (to my ears reminiscent of john bush from Anthrax) with a hint of power metal and occasional death metal moments. Over all it suits the production of this album and the mood they are trying to create. The lads have succeeded in creating something special here and they should feel proud of themselves! I really hope this release raises the band into the next level of contenders for the metal throne.
Who would this appeal to? I'd suggest fans of Tiamat, Opeth, Type O Negative and the more abstract moments of Rotting Christ and in some parts the more orchestrated moments of Bathory and Pink Floyd... which I know is a hard range to mentally grasp but I guess the only way to understand it is to go to the bands website and give it a listen. -Reggae

Track list:
1. With Malicious Eye
2. Surreality (The Tell-Tale Mind)
3. No One Came To Mourn Me
4. Apostate
5. A Pox Upon Your House
6. Les Autres

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