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The Crown

The Burning / Eternal Death

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new double CD set from a Swedish death metal band that I hadn't heard before. It includes their first two albums, each featuring a bonus track that happen to be covers. The first disc was released in 1995, and the other 1997. I think you can hear a big difference in terms of maturity and musicianship from the first to the second, but both work well. The formula did start to wear a little thin for me on the first album near the end, though. The second didn't have that problem.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1
The Burning
Of Good and Evil

After a skit/effects introduction, they drive out with some scorching hot metal jamming. This is furious and mean. The vocals come in as growling, guttural lines. There are some decidedly complex and intriguing shifts built into this song.

Soulicide Demon-Might
Coming in pounding and fierce, this is rawer than the opener was. It's intense and pretty brutal. It's also so fast paced.
More seriously furious extreme metal is on the menu here. This even includes an explosion. There are some particularly cool changes and sections on this. It is very brutal, but also has some real complexity and nuance at times.
The Lord of the Rings
Pounding, rawer and even more brutal, this is a really screaming piece. It's among the most extreme stuff here, and certainly designed to create sore necks in the mosh pit.
I Crawl
While this is slower than some here, this is still very fast. It's also less brutal than some others, but still has plenty of brutality built into it.
Forever Heaven Gone
Here we get another brutal and driving face-melting slab of extreme metal.
The percussion on this is especially pounding. The vocals are spit out with fury. This is one of the most effective pieces on this first disc . It's furious, extreme and also quite tasty.
Neverending Dream
The vocals are especially screaming and intense on this number. It's another furious death metal stomper. It's not a big change, but is quite effective. There is a spoken recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the middle of this song. The drumming is pretty crazed at times, too.
Night of the Swords
This is fairly short and very furious.
Wrongside of the Tracks
I dig the high pitched guitar that gets us going here. The song pounds out from there. This turns into a really intense death metal jam. It has some intriguing complexities and variants. It's another highlight of the disc for me. The high-pitched guitar takes control at the end to serve as a bookend outro.
Driving, brutal death metal is on the menu here. This is another scorching hot piece.
Forget the Light
Not a big change, this is another brutal death metal screamer. It's solid, but not a standout. Effects sounding a little like an explosion and aftermath end it.
Mandatory Suicide - Bonus Track (Slayer Cover)
More screaming death metal is in place on this cover. I really love the guitar work on the number.
CD 2
Eternal Death
Angels Die

A rather intricate acoustic guitar section starts this and holds it for a time. The cut screams out into furious and brutal territory from there. The vocals are literally extreme screaming type. This has a spoken sound-bite later in the track the feels like it's from a movie. The wall of sound created here somehow feels more polished than anything on the previous disc without losing any of its extreme nature. I really think this piece is one of the best of the whole set.

Beautiful Evil Soul
Brutal and unrelenting, this has some shifts and turns. It's about as extreme as you can get. Personally, this doesn't work as well as the opener did. It's sort of mid-level in terms of the music in the set.
In Bitterness and Sorrow
Coming in with more mainstream metal sounds, this turns extreme fairly quickly. While it's not a big change, I'd consider this a step up from the previous song. There is some really intense and crazed stuff later on here.
The Black Heart
Another brutal metal number, this almost has some hints of shoegaze. Don't get me wrong, it's all black metal, but the droning aspects at times call to mind shoegaze a little. This piece is extended, and it gets really intense later. This is another that I'd consider one of the best of the whole double disc set. There are some cool changes on this.
World Within
Seriously pounding as it drives out of the gate, this is so furious. It's a little rawer than some of the stuff on this second disc.
The Serpent Garden
There is a dense wall of sound at the heart of this pounding death metal excursion.
Kill (The Priest)
If anything this short piece feels more insanely frantic and furious than anything we've heard. It's a real pounding.
Misery Speaks
Coming in a bit more melodic, this works out with style. This works through a number of changes, getting into more standard extreme metal zones further down the road. There is some particularly intriguing guitar work on this, and the song is another standout.
Intense, grueling, brutal extreme metal is on the menu here. This is another that's certainly competent, but not a standout at all.
Death of God
Pounding, driving and particularly raw, this is another unrelenting death metal workout. This is over ten-minutes long, making it the epic of the set. They work some shifts and changes in and make good use of all that time. There is some more of that shoegaze angle that comes in late, too. Of course, it's dominated by the black metal.
Arise Bonus Track (Sepultura Cover)
This cover is furious, pounding and intense. It doesn't feel all that different from the rest of the stuff in the set. The instrumental section later gets so fierce and driving.

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