Paul Hutchings checks out the new release from Swedish Death Metal warriors.. The Crown
Having formed in 1990 as Crown of Thorns, the band became The Crown in 1998, and apart from a break from 2004-09, have delivered high quality death metal for many years.
2018’s ‘Cobra Speed Venom’ was undoubtedly a highlight in the long career of Swedish death metallers. For me it was possibly the pinnacle of a long and impressive career. Having steered their ship through the pandemic, which included singer Johan Lindstrand contracting the virus, ‘Royal Destroyer’ sees The Crown in robust, visceral form.
It is arguably one of the band’s strongest ever albums. Recorded in a mere six days, it continues from ‘Cobra Speed Venom’ in terms of sheer aggression and performance. The cohesion displayed within the band is impressive, with the Jeff Hannerman tribute ‘Let the Hammering Begin’ coming early and fast. It snarls and rages in typical style with some subtle Slayer homage thrown into the mix. There’s ample variety hidden away when you listen. ‘Ultra Faust’ slows the pace but not the intensity; the fiery thrash of ‘Full Metal Justice’, a damaging three-minute slasher reminds you that this is a band that can and will incite carnage in future shows.
The confidence of The Crown is such that they are unafraid to change style and tempo with ‘We Drift On’, a semi power ballad that is nestled towards the end of the album, but which still carries enough firepower to sit comfortably in the sea of brutality that surrounds it. Lindstrand roars his way throughout, his gravel throated delivery now trademark level recognisable. Thedual guitars of Robin Sörqvist and Marko Tervonen slice ferociously with razor sharp authority and the whole band moves with sledgehammer effectiveness. 30 years and counting.
The Crown may be an underdog in the world of death metal, but believe me, this is a dog with one hell of a bite
The Crown – Royal Destroyer is released via Metal Blade Records on the 12th March 2021