In 2020 Night Crowned became probably the biggest new name with their debut longplay Impius Viam. After a year and a half these guys have evolved their ideas on their second album Hädanfärd. Now, in the end of 2023 Night Crowned are back with their third effort named Tales.
Usually, it works this way: with the first album a band makes a statement, develops success with the second and consolidates positions with the third; experiments come further. The most striking example of this scheme is Metallica, but of course there are a lot of exceptions though. However in case of Night Crowned we talk about experienced musicians, who already knew what they want to play from their first release and they made it great. Those who followed the band also knew more or less what to expect, but it was obvious that the band will develop. So on the third album folk elements were added to immutable blackened death metal. Well, let’s go with it.
The first single from the new album, “De Namlösa” gives fans exactly what they expected from the band: eerie keyboard intro, blackened death guitar riffs provided by H. Liljesand and J. Eskilsson, endless drums attacks by J. Jaloma and K. Romlin’s extreme vocals. Furious tempo, memorable melodics and some keys show that Night Crowned are back indeed and they didn’t get worse. However, “Flickan Son Försvann” reveals the idea of adding some folk elements and causes some questions. In this song it seems like folk metal struggling with death and black: sometimes one fading out and the other takes its place on the forefront and then they suddenly change places. Clean vocals and melodies can be also heard here with usual riffs’ brutality and aggression. Anyway, this song is interesting but it was quite surprising to hear it from Night Crowned.
Folk metal elements prevail in “She Comes At Night”, moving everything else to the background. Even the vocal line here, which lies on typical riffs and endless blast-beats, sounds more folk’ish. A female vocal by Therése Thomsson in the middle of the song captures listener’s attention completely. Therése’s vocals can be also heard in “Lupus Luna”, which is completely different musically: it starts from raw and fast-paced black metal, transforms into melodic death, adds some female vocals with string instruments and goes back to black. This happen a couple of times and transitions are quite sharp. Nevertheless, such mix of black, death, folk and melody sounds interesting and captivating.
There is also an interesting mix of genres in “Loviatar”, which is, maybe, the most melodic track in this album: besides the dark epic, fierce drumming and tough riffs that expectedly raining down on a listener, here we have some melodic solos and male clean vocal moment (not something new for Night Crowned, something similar already was on Hädanfärd.) “Nattramn” in its turn is a pure ire wrapped in blackened death form without any frills; only a dark abyss, where music takes a listener, giving him a break rarely with some keyboards interludes and short melodic solos. And the album ends with “Old Tales”, sometimes theatrical and sublime track, especially in that moment when K. Romlin talks.
Well, Night Crowned brought diversity to their music, keeping all for what fans loved the band. Their new album is an interesting and strong work. But the main question is this one-time experiment or is it shows the direction for the band’s future music. However, it’s not so important right now: Tales captivates and makes you listen to it more and more, finding something new every time and that’s probably the main thing here.
Tales will be released on November, 10th via Noble Demon.
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