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Epicrenel - The Crystal Throne - 88%

trollhammer666, March 11th, 2013
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Inverse Records

Epicrenel. Epic would be an understatement of the century and renel, well, has no direct translation, but we won’t worry about that. I was completely swept off my feet when I heard this album. There is so much to look forward to with ten beautiful tracks, plus a free instrumental intro and outro for further enjoyment. Now, let us begin.

Every song on The Crystal Throne is packed with stellar riffs ranging from fast to fastest, explosive choruses that mind-melt you over and over again, wild Sonata Arctica keyboard solos, near-Dragonforce speed guitar solos that trade off with one another as if they are at war over the spotlight, chaotic bass solos that completely catch you off guard, and amazing intros and outros that set you up for what’s to come. Oh wait, there’s more! The singer sounds like he could be Tony Kakko’s (Sonata Arctica) brother or even twin and performs so well over the entirety of the album. The lyrics are very suiting to the instruments, being very adventure-based, which basically sums up the album. One hell of an adventure.

Aside from predictable song structures (being the only flaw I could find, but when is a power metal song not predictable anyways), they manage to pull it off track after track by incorporating something new into each song. I would say check out “To Cursed Lands Again”, where you can find a bit of everything from the album all summed up into one perfect song. “In the Dungeon” is my favourite with Kiuas-ish singing styles and riffs combined with the Legend of Zelda-inspired, haunting synths. As the song progresses, it feels almost as if you are progressing alongside further into ‘the dungeon’ and by the time the guitar and keyboard solos come around, you are in some sort of boss battle, and as they return to the main riff and chorus the song ends with a victorious outro, clarifying that your adventure in said dungeon is complete. The structure and composition of this album is absolutely breathtaking.

When I take a step away and play through my head the things that stuck from The Crystal Throne, I imagine the Sonata Arctica of old that we all fell in love with, the now near-defunct, but overlooked Kiuas, the beautiful instrumentals of Rhapsody before they became Rhapsody of Fire, and the overall feel and emotional power that Kamelot portrays. It’s like all these bands I fell in love with growing up having an orgy and Epicrenel is their spawn, this almighty, glowing and luminous love child. And my god, did they all do a wonderful job raising that child into this epic beast of a band it is today. I have an unlimited amount of praise for this album and I cannot wait for what’s next to come.