Released: 2012, Séance Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
So here is the debut album from Australia’s Crowned, a trio of three robed anonymous figures hailing from Queensland who according to their bio bring their own unique brand of ‘Australian Black metal created under night’s transcendental veil with intelligence, subtlety and abundant atmosphere, an austere opus traversing life, death and infinity’. A bold statement for a debut album but a confident one none the less…
The album is a raw, dark and foreboding feeling musical journey which at times can be very atmospheric. The band have certainly got their sound deeply rooted in the more older traditional Black Metal sound of Dissection, Burzum and Wolves In The Throne Room which ultimately means that if you’re looking for a well-polished and crisply produced collection of songs then that’s not what you’ll find here. The production is raw and dark and almost unapologetically so, which only helps to compliment the music that is being performed.
One thing I would say though is that whilst I understand the need for a certain type of production for this style of Black Metal, the levels on the album are at times a bit frustrating. As the drums seem to have been turned very high in the mix over everything else and they along with the drums completely overpower the guitars at certain parts of each song, which I think is a shame for music that could be a lot more atmospheric if this was corrected.
The musical dynamics in terms of song writing is not massively diverse either. The majority of the time the music is just solid constant blast beats and there’s not a massive degree of change in tempo or overall melodic feel to each song throughout the album which unfortunately can mean that you’ll lose the listeners attention and that’s never a good thing when trying to put together an exciting debut album. It may just be my personal opinion but I honestly don’t think that there’s enough originality or musical inspiration in this album to warrant me giving it a good review. It is very much your standard run of the mill up and coming raw Black Metal album that you tend to hear time and time again that is mainly just a bunch of re-hashed ideas from the big Black Metal names that came before.
I really wanted to like this album given that it kicks off at the start with decent potential and the cover art is also really stunning, but I honestly just found it to be really quite boring to sit through and very standard and really didn’t grab my attention as much as I’d hope it would. As this is only the first debut album from the band though, I hope that in time they can really work on honing their own unique sound and create something that will really grab people’s attention a bit more, but sadly for now this release is not something that has gone very far to impress me at all.
Review by Joffie Lovett