When a band reunites after such a critically acclaimed career as THE CROWN has had, there is bound to be some monumental praise and discouraging disdain from its fans. Particularly, when the original vocalist doesn’t return. This is the fate that THE CROWN’s fifth album “Doomsday King” has received. A torn existence and a fan base that is just as torn at its outcome. Much of both its praise and criticisms perhaps earned unfairly.
As a person that has always enjoyed THE CROWN, it’s hard for me to say that it’s the greatest comeback in history or the worst as some claim. “Doomsday King” is neither. Not to those extents at least. It’s sure as hell one of the best releases in 2010 with its solid Death/Thrash attack and relentless energy, but it’s not perfect.
At its core, it is THE CROWN that many have been missing. The beastly combination of Death Metal’s heaviness and bombardment of layers is ably mixed with the energetic vomit of the band’s Thrash riffs and snare-driven pacing. The guitars crunch with unseen weight of their sound focused on those faster Death Metal riffs, the drums pummel the listener into oblivion with killer double bass, the bass rattles the sternum ferociously, and the vocal attack from the newest addition Jonas Stalhammar is a snarling attack of intent and monstrous delivery. Even if it’s not “Deathrace King” part two, it’s still a stellar release.
The difference with this comeback release is that we have a band that are slightly less about being in your face with the ferocity and are instead starting to express an atmosphere and melodic side. There are tracks like “The Tempter And The Bible Black” that ably express this newly embraced side. It creates an album that is diversified enough to not run all together.
Whether you loved THE CROWN or not, it’s still nice to hear that this influential band still has the touch on “Doomsday King." It’s different enough to piss off many of the die hards, but give it enough spins and let the solid writing and performances sink in. Perhaps not their best, but another great album to add to an already stellar career.
Songs to check out: “Doomsday King," “The Tempter And The Bible Black," “Blood O.D..”
(Online July 14, 2011)