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The Dragon Age - 80%

kimiwind, March 13th, 2010

Crowned With Black is a Finnish heavy metal band from Jyväskylä. Their first output contains merely 2 songs that average 5 min. However, these guys are not new to the heavy metal scene. Most of the members are active in their bands, and this is actually a side-project of Dark the Suns Members. And as I have listened to Dark the Suns on many occasions, I have to say that the sound is similar to what we are dealing with here. This release's music is based on gothic metal, dark metal and black metal, featuring strong keyboards presence.

The production of this release is good enough for a self financed piece of art. You can feel that there was a great effort put into producing this. The sound is clear for the ear, and the instruments are easy to distinguish. This makes a good impression on the listener, it's easier to delve into the music itself when you have everything sounds right.

Now instrumentally, this Ep is very promising. The vocals are your typical deep growls, and I definitely dig them pretty much. For the ones who are familiar with Dark the Suns will know what I'm talking about here. Mikko holds for the audience the same vocals style with this band. Somehow, the guitars are quite disappointing. I think their touch is very minimal, barely heard as well. Surprisingly the bass was a much better performer. The drums in this release range from slow-paced to mid-paced. Now to the keyboards, the best performer here and probably the star of the show. They deliver a dark bitter cold atmosphere, grim enough to depress you. The last minute of the song Silent Ground is a great example of what I’m talking about.

In conclusion, the first effort of Crowned With Black is looking fine. I’m actually curious to hear more from them, as I believe two songs are not enough to make you comprehend the musical message they want to deliver with this new band. I heard they have plans to release a full length by the end of this year. We shall see. The Dragon Age is highly recommended for fans of dark gothic metal and melodic extreme metal in general. Try to get a copy regardless of how short this Ep is. There are some good moments here, definitely.

Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 13-03-2010
© Kimiwind