Product Code: PEL 124 V
Artist: Crown
Origin: Germany
Label: Palagic Records (2021)
Format: 2 X LP
Availability: In Stock
Cover: NM (M-)
Record: NM (M-)
Genre: Ambient , Electronic , Industrial , Rock U

The End Of All Things

Very smart clean double album LP, Album Vinyl, LP, Single Sided, Album, Etched housed in a nice gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves.

Since this is my first encounter with the French band Crown, I checked the Encyclopaedia Metallum for a bit of background data. Usually, the metal archives are a good, reliable and updated source of information. This time, however, the genre listed for Crown – sludge and doom metal – had me scratching my head, because it did not agree at all with what I had heard listening to the band’s new LP. Was I looking at the wrong band profile?

I was not. It was the right Crown, although there is definitely no shortage of bands with that word in their name. It just appears that the band in question have changed their style quite a bit. While they might have played sludge and doom metal at some point in their career, judging from their latest album The End Of All Things that is no longer their chosen form of expression.

Their newest album, their third full-length, is built on the sound of numerous well-known bands in the electronica-heavy industrial metal and dark wave spectrum – bands like Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Ministry, Godflesh and Depeche Mode.

Compared to predecessor Natron (2015), The End Of All Things is an overall calmer, mellower, less harsh and more orderly affair. There is no shortage of melody. Often, the soundscapes have a dreamy ambience. Electronics and clean vocals, frequently of a yearning quality, create the defining parts of almost all of the album’s soundscapes. Naturally, there are songs that are a bit colder and bleaker than others, but they don’t change the overall impression of mellowness.

The minimalistic beginning of Fleuve, with only acoustic guitar and vocals, is perhaps the softest bit of music on the album, while tracks Shades and Nails mark the opposite end of the scale, with pre-released Illumination being the most representative song. Closing number Utopia features Karin Park of Årabrot as guest vocalist and stands out among the album’s ten tracks, because the female vocals immediately create a different atmosphere and instantly distinguish the music from all the bands the album’s sound is developed upon.

Progression and change are, of course, to be expected and even desired from a band active for ten years. In this process, the band usually loses some fans and gains new ones. Although an enjoyable and relaxing listen, Crown’s new album The End Of All Things seems too retro, too recycled and offers hardly anything new. If you are a fan of all the bands listed above, you might well like this. But if you are looking for new music to fit these exceptional times, you will have to keep on digging.

Violence 4:15
    Neverland 4:00
    Shades 4:04
    Illumination 3:43
    Nails 4:43
    Gallow 4:15
    Extinction 6:21
    Fleuve 5:02
    Firebearer 4:37
    Utopia 4:33