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Solid Album - 75%

Axis_Corpsefucker, September 17th, 2005

Great clear production, with slightly muffled guitars creating Swedish Melodic Death Metal. This is the rerelease of “Crowned in Terror”, re-released due to the fact that the members weren’t happy with the original release and decided to reproduce it with the addition of original vocalist Johan Lindstrand. (The infamous Thomas Lindberg did “Crowned in Terror”)

The cd is very nicely produced, with clear production, but the guitars are slightly muffled and is less distinct. However, the guitar work of Marcus Sunesson and Marko Tervonen shine through, with distinctive melodic leading and chugging heavy thrashing riffs. The drumming of Janne Saarenpaa is slightly remarkable with interesting drumming patterns and often he gets to show off by pulling off a solo. The bass however, done by Magnus Olsfelt, is unremarkable with nothing really memorable. The vocals done by Johan Lindstrand is nothing special too, but fits the overall tone of the album very well.

The album is overall brutal and melodic in all the right places, but occasionally tends to get repetitive and boring. This is nothing groundbreaking nor mesmerizing, its just plain good old fashioned verse-chorus-verse Melodic Death Metal that doesn’t suck. But what really separates them from other Swedish Melodic Death Metal bands is just the fact of them being signed to Metal Blade rather than Century Media or Nuclear Blast. I mean, that’s it. That’s why you never see these guys touring a lot with the traditional fagothenburg bands. But that’s all that distinguishes them from everyone else.

There are several down points other than them being far from original. Some of the songs are slow and pointless. For example “World Below” does have an awesome chorus but is just overall too slow with no groove. “(I am) hell” is just boring generic Crown material that they would’ve produced 5 years ago. Also most of their songs are fast-paced but aren’t fast. Its just probably a matter of taste but I would’ve enjoyed more thrashing speed metal moments.

But all in all, “Crowned Unholy” is an awesome album that will rape any fagothenburg or Swedish Metal contemporaries any day. If they were a little bit more faster and if Fredrik Nordstrom produced it, it would’ve been much better.

But…yeah, its kinda generic standard Swedish Death Metal. By the way, do you think my review is long and boring? Well that’s what this cd’s gonna feel like after a couple of spins. Great CD, but not really a classic.

RECOMMENDED SONGS: Death Metal Holocaust, Under the whip, Satanist
LYRICS: Angst expressed in a mask of occult imagery
PRODUCTION: Overall, a clear production, but the guitar seems muffled and weak
PACKAGING: Excellent 2-cd pack with liner notes and dvd, the dvd sucks though
OVERALL: Great Swedish Death Metal, but it gets boring after a couple spins