Alright, so I am a little behind with this review. But damn.. I am going to say right now, up-front, Crown’s album “Psychurgy” is one of my favorite albums of all time. No, not just favorite of 2013… favorite of ALL TIME! I believe within all of us and with music, there are certain things that speak to our inner selves. Our “soul”, if you will. For myself, it happens to be an album that sounds like it’s the soundtrack to the nine circles of hell. That suits me just fine. Welcome to Crown’s album “Psychurgy“.
I don’t throw around the phrase “favorite of all time” lightly either. I am a complete, self described music snob; A.k.a “a picky bastard”. Yet, I have been listening to “Psychurgy” almost daily for weeks now. An usual occurrence I will admit. It has driven itself that far into my being. Which is quite a feat for someone like a me. What is it that has me so hooked?
CROWN is an industrial duo hailing from Colmar, France. “Two guys, a voice and a machine” is how their official bio describes them. Their album “Psychurgy” is music for those who like their metal dark, ambient, sludgy and melodic. You will not find piercing guitar riffs or crazy drum solos. No squealing vocals or blistering drums. What you will find are haunting, multi-layered vocals teamed with sludgy guitars and drums that give you an experience of downtrodden doom. I dare say, CROWN makes you experience doom through music. Something like the soundtrack to Hell itself.
Each and every track on “Psychurgy” sets an atmosphere. Whether it be the up front and melodic drums and sludge guitar found in tracks like “Serpent and Fire” or the angst ridden vocals teamed with the sludge melody found in “We Will Crush The Open Sky“. One of the features of Crown and “Psychurgy” is the vocal treatment they apply to the tracks. Almost every track is teamed with a back and forth between throaty, death metal style vocals and melodic yet clean haunting doom style vocals. This treatment adds quite the interesting dynamic that helps to define CROWN. This style is very prevalent on my favorite track “Blood Runs“.
“Blood Runs” is filled with heavy, angst ridden guitars and sludgy drums teamed with growling and haunting vocals. Then at times, unexpectedly, the guitars turn more melodic and the vocals turn much more atmospheric. All while keeping a sludgy, yet catchy and melodic rhythm. The same can be said for the track “Empress Hierophant“.
CROWN is one of those bands, especially with “Psychurgy“, that are unique through both their style and method. While their approach and sound are not wholly unique to just them, the style and method they use to create and put their music together makes them unique. The heaviness, atmosphere and melody of “Psychurgy” make it a truly great album.