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Rough At Times - 50%

GuntherTheUndying, July 11th, 2007

So here we have the final demo released by The Crown before their debut CD in 1995, and let me be the first to tell you it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I put a lot of effort into finding this gem, and I feel a bit confused considering how great The Crown’s first tape was compared to the average stuff here. Comprised of four tracks from The Crown’s debut, “Forget The Light” fulfills certain obligations as an acceptable tape, but it still falls below the expectations of what this band was capable of.

Posing as a medium between a godly demo and an original debut, “Forget The Light” still spreads the Gothenburg butter across the death metal bread, but not without some unexpected faults. For one, a lot of the songs are played slower than what was presented on “The Burning,” which comes off a bit rough at times, but it’s still enjoyable at the core of it all. Also, the tracks are evenly divided between two melodic death rockets and two death metal hammers, which can be a bit hard to swallow considering the strong union between the two genres on The Crown’s first demo. With such a musical separation, there is bound to be such conflicts between the music and the band’s sound; this is ironically the biggest problem here.

The dividing line between awe-inspiring masterpieces and mediocre tracks is severed to bring these different worlds together throughout this strange tape. We have beautiful melodic attempts on “Neverending Dream” and relentless riffing on “Soulicide Demon-Might,” yet the other two songs were very poor choices for such a release. “Godless,” on one hand,” is a boring Gothenburg rocker with few good riffs or vocals, whilst “Candles” is a very repetitive track with an average chorus and one riff that lasts for over six minutes of redundancy. It still boggles my mind as to why they picked the two worst tracks of their debut to represent themselves at such a young age.

And yes, The Crown does spice up their older material a bit, but it isn’t as special as one might expect. The group’s first demo emphasized on extraordinary changes that brought new life into some of the tunes; however, such ideas were nearly wiped out when this tape was recorded. For example, “Soulicide Demon-Might,” which is definitely one of the better tracks on The Crown’s debut, has a swift section of fantastic double-tracked vocals before it fades back into its normal form, and “Neverending Dream” begins with a shady keyboard intro that was later removed, and that’s it. The other two songs are exactly the same and haven’t been touched since the demo-era, which is somewhat depressing considering how great some of these tracks were as rough copies.

I’m still stuck in the middle with “Forget The Light” because it’s excellent at times, but it just can’t live up to what it should be. It’s a lot like getting drawn and quartered; you can really go either way. Buy this if you like The Crown, or just pass it along.