Black Crown Initiate
Song of the Crippled Bull


3.5
great

Review

by ProgCoffee USER (7 Reviews)
August 16th, 2015 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solid progressive death metal that leaves a very good first impression, but with further listening, shows a lack of something that would make them more memorable.

Black Crown Initiate formed in late 2012 with the mission to make heavy, crushing, death metal with progressive elements and astounding musical technicality and showmanship. They released this EP as a mission statement of sorts, using deep 8-string guitars, smashing, heavy drums and use of both clean and harsh singing. “Song Of The Crippled Bull” succeeded in bringing the band from unknown status and turning them into what many consider one of the brightest futures of progressive metal.

Since this is an EP with only four tracks, one might think that there isn’t much content to be analyzed. And this is true by full length standards, but for an EP, this record contains a lot of disparate content, one of its main qualities. The first song “Stench of the Iron Age” is definitely the most memorable, and is one of the heaviest songs I have ever heard. Not the fastest song, but the slower parts are extremely heavy with the aforementioned 8-string guitars chugging away frantically, and the triggered double bass pedals working with blasting efficiency. This leaves little to be desired when it comes to metallic heaviness, and gives the listener barely any time to catch his breath, save the melodic interlude in the middle of “Ghost She Sends”.

The main issue with this EP is that its sound is so extremely polished, that it almost sounds overproduced. This is very common with progressive metal music, and I don’t usually have a problem with it, but the fact is that this EP has song structures that rely too heavily on the blasting “djent” (palm muted) guitar sound coupled with very fast double bass drumming that it begins to be hard to not lose interest in some of the tracks. “Ghost She Sends” is the main culprit here, with the majority of the song just blasting away, with vocals on top screaming the song title over and over. Not a bad song by any means, and the melodic respite in the middle is very much needed to tie into the next half of the EP. The next song “The Mountain Top” is the best one here, mainly because of the incredible vocal performance, and a songwriting that is short, but very sweet. It succeeds fantastically in changing up between melodic singing, and crushing blast beats coupled with harsh growling, and then smoothly leading into the closer. All of the songs here are full songs, with no instrumentals, even with the last song, which vocally, just repeats the first line of the first track and close the EP in a heavier, but similar way it started.

Overall, a very solid and strong release by a band that shows much promise, and only a few easily remedied things that hold it back from being something truly special. The songwriting is solid, and more importantly doesn’t rely on the same themes but shows disparity and talent. A very good start for an up and coming metal band, and a promising release that shows what they are capable of becoming.

3.7/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
UnderTheNorthernScar
August 16th 2015


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

EP is pretty darn heavy

Gameofmetal
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2015


9222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The main issue with this EP is that it’s sound is so extremely polished"



its*



good review, been awhile since I jammed this band but I remember liking this a little bit more than their debut

UnderTheNorthernScar
August 16th 2015


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, missed that

AlphaBetaFoxface
August 17th 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Personally, one of my favourite EPs, I found everything linked together perfectly. It is pretty polished but I didn't find it polished enough to be distracting (take any progressive death metal album of recent times). Still, awesome review.



Pos'd

artiswar
August 17th 2015


50 Comments


Fix 'mainly because of the incredible the vocal performance, '

good review.

FlyheadMetal
August 17th 2015


2422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have not heard the new album yet but i bet it is good

UnderTheNorthernScar
August 17th 2015


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man, I sucked with spelling and grammar on this one. thanks guys

Alias
October 23rd 2015


329 Comments


this production is great. saying it's too polished is kind of stupid cause you're basically saying everything is too tight and well performed. i don't ascribe to the notion that if you hear mistakes it gives it a "raw" or "organic" feeling. just sounds unprofessional


UnderTheNorthernScar
November 10th 2015


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There is a point where, as a musician, you can tell that the sound is extremely altered from the original as a result of mixing, and just plain overproducing, and that's all I'm saying. I am aware that this is from a genre that is known for very extensive producing, and "mistakes" are not what make something organic, but a more human feel is what makes music more personable and relatable, and there is a point where that is taken away, which is this point.

Alias
November 10th 2015


329 Comments


Why is there a quotation around mistakes

UnderTheNorthernScar
December 19th 2015


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

because you said it

Alias
December 19th 2015


329 Comments


What gives something a human feel

UnderTheNorthernScar
January 6th 2016


501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Less whitewashing overproduction that bleaches any errors and little sounds that are naturally made by human error, which is inevitable.

MO
January 6th 2016


20700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

unfortunately that's kinda the way metal is going these days, more and more computer bands



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