Ah … more Swedish death metal to grace my palette for the new year.
It’s been great seeing the resurgence of old-school death metal in the last few years, including Carcass, At the Gates and Massacre, to name a few. Although The Crown have released two albums over the last decade, Death is Not Dead is the first to feature original vocalist Johan Lindstrand since 2003’s Possessed 13, and his homecoming is a welcome one!
“Reign,” a melodic instrumental, opens up Death is Not Dead, before “Headhunter,” the first single, lets loose upon your ears. Lindstrand’s vocals are seething and dripping with evil. “Iblis Bane” is neck-breaking, melodic song that will have you singing along after the first chorus. The guitar-work on “Magnus Olsfelt” and “Robin Sörqvist” is nothing short of amazing. The solos fit perfectly, the harmonies are spot-on, and the riffs are chugging and punishing. “Eternal” is a death march through hell, and “Speed Kills (Full Moon Ahead)” is all-out war. “Herd of Swine” is Lindstrand’s finest moment on Death is Not Dead. He is just ferocious, and this song is a beast! “Meduseld” is another brutal, melodic track, and “Godeater,” the albums outro, is The Crown at their finest. They dance a fine line between melodic death and thrash, but they do it well.
The Crown show us they are ready to be in the forefront of the revival of death metal with every song on Death is Not Dead. It’s nothing short of amazing.
Death is Not Dead is out January 13 on Century Media Records.
Rating: 5/5 Stars