The first track, “Great Mistake” is a perfect example of what this progressive death metal band is all about. Meticulous guitar harmonies riff to huge heights, and the song explodes into crushing double bass attacks. The dichotomy of melodic choruses with the relentless death metal backgrounds conjure parallels to Dimmu Borgir in style, and can be found throughout the record. This is a perfect opening track for anyone who is unfamiliar with the band and what they have to offer.
The songs all have elements both ruthless and epic, the bulk of the tracks ranging from five to seven minutes in length. Guttural screams permeate the album’s sonic landscape, and they are very well produced. With frontman James Dorton and both guitarists tackling vocals, it provides a thick, black tar of growling projections and legendary melodies. Along with precision guitar techniques, and a tight as nails rhythm section, this album is the full package.
“Withering Waves”, another lengthy endeavor topping out at six minutes, gives you a building crescendo, constantly climbing higher and higher with a sense that you, the listener, might never get to the peak. That is the special treat that Black Crown Initiate brings to the table – you just don’t know what might be around the next riff, but you are heavily invested all the same.
This album, at its core is death metal with a technical focus, but there are many aspects that give you an enjoyable experience not found in the necessarily ‘normal’ genre releases. Songs like “The Fractured One” and “To The Eye That Leads You” are very generic at first listen, but still bring a quality that is rare in death metal. An acute attention to musical detail allow even obligatory four-minute death metal songs to sound like so much more.
The Wreckage of Stars, dropping Sept. 30, is an album made for the fans of the genre, not just the band itself. As the title track suggests, this is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) death metal album, where the intricate music speaks for itself in heavy volumes. They will be touring for this album with the band Rivers of Nihil, and coming to the Upstate New York area in Buffalo on Sept. 19 at The Waiting Room, Bogies in Albany on Sept. 21, and then St. Vitus in Brooklyn on Sept. 22. After that tour ends,they will be hitting the road with Origin, Darkest Hour and Unearth starting in October.
Key Tracks: Great Mistake, Malignant, Withering Waves, Linear
If you’re interested in pre-ordering the album, check out the band’s eOne page for various bundles.