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Crown The Lost - Reverence Dies Within

Label: Independent
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: The Goat

So this is the first demo of an unsigned band. My first impression, before I listened to the CD, was cool cover art. It has a Travis Smith Seempieces feel to it. The band's name scrawled in some scratchy cursive left no indication as to what they would sound like. Are the emo? Are they going to be scream-o? An alterna-rock? Prog metal?


I popped the CD into my car stereo. ‘Devoid of All Praise’ begins. It is a blasting, thrashing sonic assault from the past. Harmonious guitars kick in, sometimes doing that cool duel/dual guitar thing, but I am waiting to hear the vocals. Obviously, vocals are a huge give away as to the style of a band. Crown the Lost decide to keep me guessing by starting off with this amazing, ballsy five minute long opening instrumental.

‘Praise’ does not allow you to breathe before the show truly begins. ‘Prelude to Fall’ ends the mystery. The vocals are reminiscent of Solitude Aeternus or old school thrash. Chris Renaldi's voice is dramatic but not overly so. There is a pleading quality of one who is looking for redemption but knows what the answer is already.

‘Your Faith is Not Mine’ comes in with a death metal attitude. It is the shredding guitars that really make this song a killer. Once again Renaldi's vocals sound like a heretic announcing his allegiance to the Old Gods and only yielding to the Church through attrition. ‘Without End’ is deceptive, its opening tones suggest a reprieve - until the song truly strikes. It is a merciless stomping. There is almost a militaristic precision about this song. ‘No Reprieve’ is just that. It is such a thrash song that you would think it was a cover of Testament or Overkill or, more precisely, Reverend. It is distinguished, once again by the quality of the blastbeats. There is a breakdown that would put every metal band out there to shame. Renaldi's voice is more defiant. The chorus is so catchy: "the color in your eyes / is replaced with rust / powerless in change / the oppressed and dying ways” - oh, my, oh, my I find myself warbling this out loud every time. The ending of this song is so awesome and devastating.

The guitars tear out of the speakers with ‘A Way Out of Madness’ like a set of greyhounds intent on catching that motorized rabbit. The guitars spiral around and wickedly disorient. This song was making me dizzy- in a good way. ‘Swear to the Peerless’ is probably my personal favorite song. It has a rhythm that is quite like Maiden's galloping bass but only if Maiden decided to do a Death Metal album. The title track, ‘Reverence Dies Within’, does not let the listener off the hook. It keeps that thrash attack full on. The blastbeats emphasize the point. Crown The Lost finishes off with ‘This Dead Hour’ which continues to thrash, including some kick ass group vocals.

This is the best release I have heard in a LONG time. Crown The Lost are so freakin' tight it is sickening. When I first heard the whole album, I was absolutely certain that these guys were some veteran thrash mental dudes from the Eighties, but their previous efforts were known as Sinning As Our Savior. Crown The Lost have demonstrated such an acumen for thrash and well crafted tunes, I am utterly surprised by this.

The only downside to this release is the production, which adds to the old school thrash feel. In today's age of Pro Tools and over produced homogenized music, this can be a comfort. Yet, there is technology to get a crisper sound and thus, make the edginess of the guitars even more pronounced. I can easily see Crown The Lost benefitting from a crisper sound and becoming even more devastating in their delivery. Let me be clear though, this minor flaw is not an obvious thing and in no way detracts from the intensity of this album.

I recommend Crown The Lost for Nevermore fans, early Testament fans, and any one that likes their metal fast, somewhat technical but not lost in the technicalities. This release is not for the faint of heart. This is a band that needs a major label. I am just imagining what they would sound like with an improved production. Check them out…


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