Black Crown Initiate started in 2012 and in those two years have started to make a huge name for themselves. Getting on gigantic Metal tours, releasing a buzz-worthy EP and now they have released their debut album, The Wreckage Of Stars. Still, many metal fans are not familiar with the band. Simply put, Black Crown Initiate is what happens when you take the best parts of Akercoke, Cynic, Meshuggah and Fleshgod Apocalypse and fuse them into an incredible 5 piece Progressive Death Metal band. The Wreckage Of Stars could arguably be one of the greatest debut Metal albums ever. Here's why.
The album starts off with Great Mistake. It starts with an acoustic guitar passage that continues on as the rest of the instrumental part of the band begins their Death Metal assault. The death growls are so ferocious. You'd think that's all you'd need in a band, but the clean vocals are just as incredible. Both balance each other out and create a fantastic atmosphere behind the chaos of the music being played. Half way through the song it starts to focus a bit more on a breakdown with clean vocals (a concept that needs to be utilized more). And ends with it's killer, catchy chorus that once it starts being played live, everyone will start singing along with. The Fractured One is next and it starts off with all guns blazing and super fast blast beats. The whole song has a very aggressive Death Metal feel to it. Fans of the modern sound of Death Metal will love this track. Malignant is the next track and once again it starts with acoustic guitars, and then leads into pure chaos. Picture Fleshgod Apocalypse without the orchestra and that perfectly describes this song. The Human Lie Manifest once again starts off with ferocious blast beats and a Death Metal attack. The whole song flies by as fast as it can go until it leads into a a nice heavy beatdown section followed by more hyper speed Death Metal madness. Withering Waves takes a bit more of a break from all the chaos, although this one is still insane in it's own right. This song is currently the lead single off the album, and for good reason. It showcases a bit of everything the band can do. The chorus, once again, is unbelievably catchy and powerful. The middle of the song slows everything down and somewhat leads into an Damnation era Opeth interlude. while progressively building bigger and bigger until It leads back into the final chorus. It's a rare thing to say about an album, but the single is one of the strongest tracks on the entire album. To The Eye That Leads You is a bit more into the Meshuggah realm of the band while it still has awesome blast beat segments. The title track, The Wreckage of Stars, starts off very melancholic and somber. It's not until around the 2 minute mark where things pick up a tad with some incredible drumwork over very simple guitar lines. This has more of a Post Rock/Post Metal feel. 3/4ths through the song it starts to get heavy with a gigantic breakdown, and the first appearance of vocals on the song. The song ends in a very Atmospheric Death Metal embrace before floating away. Shapes Collapse brings back the chaos. This is a more straight ahead Death Metal song than most of the rest of the album until a little past half way through where it gets into a quiet, bass driven interlude. This leads to a nice Meshuggah and insane drum, breakdown to close out the track. Purge is up next and this leads in with a beautiful guitar passage. This has some of the most variance in any track on the album. This heavily shows off the Akercoke mixed with Cynic feel and may be one of the best tracks on the entire album. Everyone in the band shines on this song in one way or the other. The album closes with the shortest song on the album at 2 minutes and 23 seconds, Linear (Side Note: I got to hear this one back in June in the Black Crown Initiate Van and was beyond spellbound). This song is spectacular and features one of the most under-utilized ideas in metal - Blast Beats and Clean Vocals. The only thing wrong with this song is that it is too short. it makes you want so much more. One of the finest ways to end an album.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Black Crown Initiate is one of the bands in the current generation to save Metal. They take Prog, Death Metal, a little Djent and Atmosphere and fuse it into the perfect formula for what current Metalheads should listen to. If all goes right in the world, Black Crown Initiate will make it huge and will make the Metal world a better place. Now get up and go get The Wreckage of Stars.....NOW!!!
Black Crown Initiate- The Wreckage Of Stars Available NOW via eOne Music
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)