The words “Göteborg” and “Death Metal” placed in one sentence, warming hearts of every metalhead (dark hearts, of course). Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, In Flames and many other bands, who were at the origins of Melodic Death Metal are from this town. And now you can boldly add one more name to this list: Night Crowned.
Night Crowned formed not a long time ago but all four members are not music newcomers at all. They played (or continue to play) in such bands like Dark Funeral, Cipher System, Dark Forest Of North, Eternal Grief, Dead By April and many others. In 2016 these guys with such rich track records join together and started to rehearse. In 2018 they release three-songs EP Humanity Will Echo Out and two years later their debut album Impius Viam.
Impius Viam sounds fresh and modern (in a good way) though keeps the spirit of Göteborg school. But the label “Death Metal”, which is just drawn to put on the band isn’t reflecting the depth and diversity of this album. The brutality of Death Metal is fully presents here with Black Metal darkness, symphony and melodies. All these things are spinning in one big vortex, easily taking the listener into it and keeping him there till the end.
First of all I want to tell about drummer J. Jaloma and his play, which is play (pardon the pun), a significant role in an album. His fast and fierce playing is a solid foundation of Impius Viam and it is real gem in the same time. Prohibitively fast patterns, endless double bass and blast beats will remain no one indifferent; it’s a great, extremely precise and very fast techniques. J. Eskilsson and H. Loljesand’s guitars intertwine speed and brutality of Death Metal, dark fury of Black Metal and very melodic passages. Sometimes acoustic guitar can be heard (“IRA”, “Black Bone Cross”) – musicians create dark and grim atmosphere with it. K. Romlin’s extreme vocals are ranging from rough, evil growling to desperate screaming when the vocalist just spits out the words like curses. And symphonic elements add some depth with dark atmosphere to the songs, creating some new layers in music.
Impius Viam (“evil path” from Latin) opens with a short and dark self-titled intro, immersing the listener to the album and straight after that “Reborn” collapses on the listener with all its heaviness, merciless drums and melodic yet aggressive guitars. The song fades in the middle, leaving only keyboards but just to fall down on the listener again with renewed vigor. This “fading” schtick will be presented in all the songs by the way; can’t really say it will always sound impressive but on the other hand there’s nothing bad about it.
“Nocturnal Pulse”, “Your Sacrilegious Flesh”, “All Life Ends” with ending “Ego Sum Bestia” use symphonic elements widely. Symphony isn’t dominating here but plays its role perfectly, creating dark and dismal atmosphere, occasionally allow itself to come to the forefront when the guitars are fading.
The first single “IRA” is the most impressive song in Impius Viam, if you ask me. Night Crowned are shining here as musicians and songwriters, mixing all aforementioned things without forgetting any small detail. Infernal riffs here interwoven with dark orchestral samples, drums regularly doing blast beats and vocals interleaved with choirs. This multi-layered, fast and solid music draws the dark, somber pictures in your mind. I personally thought about some heretic, which throws his perimortem damnations in the face of his inquisitors right before they will burn him alive
Also there are some weak places in the album like mentioned “All Life Ends” or “No Room For Hope”. They are technically good, brutal, speedy and full of rage but for some reason they aren’t so impressive like the other songs. Maybe it’s because they compared to some bright tracks or maybe because the album is quite long (something about an hour). Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that it’s a debut album and of course musicians wanted to show all their skills and share all they got.
But anyway, Impius Viam is a very impressive work, incredibly fast, melodic and outrageous. This album, I’m sure, will get into many tops of 2020 (which have already brought us many good releases). And remember this name: Night Crowned is a band with huge capacity and bright future.
Impius Viam will be released on February, 28th on a brand new label Noble Demon (which deserves to tell more about it next time).
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