Crown the Empire
The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Dansereau USER (12 Reviews)
July 18th, 2014 | 217 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Who will you follow when the world fades to the grey?

Since their inception, Crown the Empire seemed like a band that had shortchanged themselves when it came to reaching their full potential. Their penchant for catchy, melodic hooks and epic storytelling was consistently brought down by their tendency for following the Rise-core cookie cutter formula of screamed verse-sung chorus-screamed verse-breakdown-sung chorus-repeat. While debut full-length The Fallout had many strong suits to boast of, such as stadium-sized production values and the addition of the capable Dave Escamilla on unclean vocals to complement Andy Leo’s soaring cleans, the record was never quite as entertaining as it could be due to the lack of variety in the song structures, and the feeling that the epic story the band was trying to tell was ill-suited to chugging breakdowns and generic songwriting. In short, while the band was aiming for the stars on their previous release, they ended up falling short as just another mainstream metalcore band. Luckily, it only took one album cycle for everything to change…

The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways is the album that finally sees the group utilizing much of their untapped talent. The introductory track, “Call to Arms (Act I)” shows that the band’s penchant for blockbuster concepts is alive and well, with a spoken-word monologue by the album’s villain, lecturing on the failures of freedom. While the occasional spoken-word sections peppered throughout the record are admittedly corny, this is essentially a blockbuster action movie in album form… cheesiness comes with the territory. This is abundantly clear once we reach the album’s first real song (and lead single), “Initiation”. While it is standard CTE fare, with primarily screamed verses followed by a catchy chorus, the album’s concept is prominent throughout, a marked change from the scattershot storytelling approach of Fallout. Those expecting a rehash of the debut, however, will be silenced by “Millennia”, an anthemic power ballad with an extremely catchy singalong chorus that is unlike anything the band has done before, with nary a breakdown in sight. “Millennia” is a clear standout, but it is also an indicator of the varied musicianship and improved songwriting throughout the album.

The Resistance sees the band dabbling in orchestral grandiosity, electronica and stadium anthems in equal measure. It is clear that the band’s ambitions exceed the modern metalcore scene, and that they aspire to be a sort of rallying point for angsty teens across the country still mourning the death of My Chemical Romance. And the most surprising aspect of Rise of the Runaways is that the band largely succeeds in these lofty ambitions. The record features three shorter “segue” tracks, including standout “Satellites (Act III)”, which serve to heighten the mood and sense of epic scale. Elsewhere, “Machines” sees the band lamenting the loss of personal privacy to technology over an electronica-tinged mid-tempo track, and “Mnstr” and “Bloodlines” serve to showcase the growing confidence of David Escamilla as a co-frontman alongside founding vocalist Leo. But the record is at its finest when it indulges its widescreen ambitions, such as on the pounding, anthemic title track “Rise of the Runaways”, which prominently features Escamilla’s cleans in the chorus. The album closes with the third part in the “Johnny” series: “Johnny’s Rebellion”. The song seems to start on an optimistic note before quickly taking a dark turn, as the record’s titular resistance movement is in shambles. The band throws everything into the nearly 7-minute finale, including string sections, a return to the breakdowns of the bands early days and a catchy chorus. The song ends on a self-referential note as Leo belts out the chorus to the first part in the song suite, “Johnny Ringo”. While detractors are certain to claim that it is far too early for this band to pull a Beatles moment, The Resistance proves that Crown the Empire have the ambition and guts to go all-in on their vision of taking a blend of emotionally-charged metal and post-hardcore to stadium-sized audiences… and as the band has gone from playing the smallest stage on the Vans Warped Tour to playing main stages across America in the space of a year, this vision doesn’t seem too far-fetched.



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user ratings (178)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Betray (2.5)
    Crown The Empire attempt to break out of the realm of generic metalcore and into arena-rea...

    Deuce8311 (4)
    A classic case of don't judge a book by its cover, the album art may be awful, but what's ...

    kansasboy14 (4)
    Crown the Empire meets expectations and more with this impressive and well executed album....

    James Hilton (3.5)
    A pleasant suprise, that I can get down with....

  • Jack Todd (3.5)
    Crown the Empire birth another catchy, yet unoriginal album...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Scoot
July 18th 2014


17914 Comments


lol @ average

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Sharpyyy
July 18th 2014


45 Comments


it's a sort of okay album i guess kinda

BigPleb
July 18th 2014


37948 Comments


That album art is atrocious.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

LordCrumpit
July 18th 2014


30 Comments


Wow the album art.......

PunchforPunch
July 18th 2014


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

*slow clap*

Asmodeuss1990
July 18th 2014


210 Comments


What the fuck? This is risecore and nothing more.

Kusangii
July 18th 2014


350 Comments


Wow the album art....... [2]

bet this blows

stranger
July 18th 2014


615 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

oh god that cover art lol

Gameofmetal
July 18th 2014


3735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I really liked the Fallout but I was uninterested by this albums single. I'll be checking this out soon. Good review.

Jennifer22
July 18th 2014


287 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Honestly, those who are rating this a one haven't actually listened to it and are basing their rating off of one of three things.

1. The album art (which has nothing to do with the music and the quality is subjective)
2. The record label it's affiliated with (Despite Rise's wide selection of bands from different genres, their name is currently associated with mediocre "core" styled music.)
3. The band's possible reputation itself and their "Verb the Noun" format.

This is a superb album and in a genre filled with heaps of rubbish, that's most certainly welcome. It has plenty of variety and the instruments do more than enough to hold the listeners attention. The concept is an enjoyable addition as well, slightly generic yet still fully engaging. The vocals are more than capable of keeping up.

So please, actually listen to the entirety of the album and give it time to settle. You must just find that you'll actually enjoy it.

trackbytrackreviews
July 18th 2014


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A 4.1 average?

Digging: frnkiero andthe cellabration - Stomachaches

Sabrutin
July 18th 2014


1052 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They really tried to make it big, but they have gone too far. "Machines" is easily the best track and also the only notable one.

lol @ average [2]



Jennifer22
July 18th 2014


287 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It really is a pleasant surprise, and I'm not one to listen to music like this. I felt they pulled off
the anthem-laden sound they were going for perfectly.

trackbytrackreviews
July 18th 2014


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's better than I expected but... a 4.1?

Also, recommended by reviewer Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold lol

Surtur
July 18th 2014


521 Comments


Can't say I'm into these guys anymore but they're definitely a lot better than typical Rise-core.

Gerard20
July 18th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album rules.

trackbytrackreviews
July 18th 2014


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is that what you really wanted as your first comment ever

Sabrutin
July 18th 2014


1052 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well yeah this is not a 1... but there is no way this is even a 4. I lost my interest after
"Machines", this just drags and drags until the end.

I still like The Fallout more (I rated it a 3).

Gerard20
July 18th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm just saying the album rules.

trackbytrackreviews
July 18th 2014


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...no



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