Six albums in and Italian progressive metallers Kingcrow still remain undeniably talented yet sadly overlooked by many metal fans out there. True, this could be because of the simple fact that progressive metal is, as Devin Townsend recently put it at a show in Bristol, “music for geeks.” However, with more and more progressive metal bands emerging, this could soon change.
Rather than discuss the future of prog-metal, let’s take a look at the present for Kingcrow who are due to release Eidos via Sensory Records. The latest installment from the sextet is said to be the third part of a trilogy that continues to explore the meaning of life while delivering cinematic, massive sounding tracks.
“The Moth” begins the Eidos journey and puts things in motion nicely with solid bass fills, classic guitar riffs and Diego Marchesi’s unique vocals which have that distinguishable operatic quality about them. Spanish-sounding acoustic guitars seem to be the order of the day in “Adrift” and “Fading Out Pt. IV,” although in some cases, this can feel a little too Santana for me, while in others, their inclusion adds to the overall atmosphere of the tracks. In fact, after listening to the album as a whole, it becomes apparent that there are a lot of other non-metal elements such as a saxophone solo in “Slow Down” and piano in “The Deeper Divide.”
The moment that I felt truly at home with Eidos came when listening to “Open Sky.” It feels as though all of the tracks before it have built to this, and midway through the song Kingcrow just let go and lay their shit down. Cinematic, loud, orchestral and quite Opeth-y in parts, this track is just pure epic. I genuinely loathe that word, but it serves to describe the sound that is created perfectly!
The epicness (I said it again … ugh) continues with “The Deeper Divide” which is packed with soaring vocals, synth, classical piano and headbanging moments aplenty, plus a cheeky guitar riff that reminds me very much of “Wings for Marie Part 2” by Tool. More opportunities for a good old headbang can be heard in the intro of the title track and in the latter section of “If Only.” It’s worth mentioning that Kingcrow are at their best when they aren’t continuously trying to churn out ballad after ballad.
Eidos is a strong album if you have the attention span and give it a chance. I believe Kingcrow have achieved what they had hoped with this release, and they have created an album that is darker, more progressive and more atmospheric than its predecessors. The strongest tracks are “The Deeper Divide,” “Open Sky” and “The Moth” where the sextet ditch some of the cheesy, technical wankery in favor of something a little more mature. So, the trilogy is complete, the journey is over, and the gateway to the next realm is open for Kingcrow. What’s next?
Eidos will be released June 23 on Sensory Records. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):