Nothing says “epic doom metal” like a 58-minute rollercoaster of endless organ notes, gritty vocals, and a dreadfully dark tone. Northern Crown showed their might two years ago with their debut, but it is their eponymous sophomore album, Northern Crown, that sets them as a tight and talented doom band. The band features a slightly different lineup than the first record, as Frank Serafine handles drums in addition to his roles as a vocalist/guitarist. Weaponlord’s Leona Hayward returns as bassist for this album and as always Zachary Randall guides the keyboard and guitar.
Northern Crown kicks off with a slow drum beat that preludes a tasty bass riff which resonates through all of “I Am Your Slave,” the album’s opening track. It is a delightfully appropriate song to open the record. “Merciless, They Let You Suffer” quickly sheds any conceptions that this will be an entirely harrowing record with its fast riffs and solid solos. “Forged From Nothing” returns the epic doom style with a heavy reliance on the organ to overshadow any hope of positive messages.
The album takes a dip with “Chasing the Sun” which feels a bit predictable. However, the pace is picked right back up with the haunting epic “The Desert and the Wind.” The 10-minute thriller gives off prog elements and adds growling vocals during various parts to create a unique blend of several types of metal. As the epic fades away, and “Righteous & Pure” passes by with little notice, “By Demons Ridden” pops in with even more doom goodness. Organs, Gregorian chants, distorted riffs: what else could you ask for? “Your River” closes the album with a gloomy atmosphere, just as the album began. Once you reach the album’s conclusion, there is a desire for more. With a release like this, Northern Crown is sure to return with even better material later on.
Any fan of doom metal will enjoy this record. The tone is pleasantly grim with tons of energy. Northern Crown has laid down yet another memorable record.
Northern Crown was released independently on October 12, 2018.
- I Am Your Slave
- Merciless, They Let You Suffer
- Forged From Nothing
- Chasing the Sun
- The Desert and the Wind
- Righteous and Pure
- By Demons Bidden
- Your River