NORTHERN CROWN - THE OTHERS (2016)
(originally appearing in AEA zine)
This was a very pleasant suprise! 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 im 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 categorise 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. Categorisations 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 utilising keyboards and other insturments rather well also utilising some aspects of electronic music and some very tasty clean melodic moments... It makes for great chillout 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 reminiscient of john bush from Anthrax) with a hint of power metal and occcassional 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.