Black Crown Initiate
The Wreckage of Stars


4.0
excellent

Review

by cmaitland421 USER (48 Reviews)
October 3rd, 2014 | 54 replies


Release Date: 09/30/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A triumphant first chapter for the next big thing in progressive death metal.

Life has to be great for the guys in Black Crown Initiate right now. In only a year's time, they went from an unsigned band grinding it out in the Pennsylvania metal scene to a signed band that is landing nationwide tours with the likes of Behemoth, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Unearth. If their debut full-length The Wreckage of Stars is any indicator; this is the only beginning of a very bright future for Black Crown Initiate.

What immediately sticks out about The Wreckage of Stars is how polished it is for a debut album. It's incredibly hard to believe after listening to The Wreckage of Stars that Black Crown Initiate has only been together since 2012. There aren't too many bands that sound this tight on their third or fourth album, let alone their first one. These guys are an incredibly well-oiled unit that have developed one of hell a rapport with one another with in practically no time at all, and this level of cohesion is a large part of what makes The Wreckage of Stars such a success.

Musically, this is a far more death metal-oriented release than their 2013 EP Song for the Crippled Bull. The more straight-up heavy vibe of this record becomes apparent pretty early on with tracks like "The Fractured One", "This Human Lie Manifest" and "To the Eye that Lead You". Every single one of these tracks are efficient, relatively technical affairs that perfectly set the energetic and pummeling tempo that serves as the backbone of this album, The pure death metal sections on this record bring out two of Black Crown Initiate's greatest assets as a band: the vicious screams of James Horton and spastic drumming of Jesse Beahler. Horton's near-perfect guttural lows give each song a delightfully sinister edge while Beahler's wild fills and ridiculously fast double bass is very reminiscent of ex-Black Dahlia Murder skinsman (and one of my personal favorite drummers) Shannon Lucas. There are moments where the guitars become trite, but these songs never lose a ton of momentum thanks to the phenomenal performances from Horton and Beahler.

The Wreckage of Stars may be heavier than Song for the Crippled Bull, but just like its predecessor, its finest moments come when the progressive metal elements come into the fold. Don't get me wrong, these guys are no slouches when it comes to pure, unadulterated brutality, but they are at their absolute best when they throw some melody and clean vocals into the mix. Lead single "Withering Waves" is the best song these guys have put out in their brief career so far. The clean-sung chorus and melodic guitar-driven bridge are absolutely stirring and make the heavier sections that much more affective. "Purge", "A Great Mistake" and "Shape's Collapse" continue the trend with prominent acoustic guitar and tasteful clean vocal lines that perfectly accentuate the crushing, groove-heavy death metal that takes up the other portions of the album. When Black Crown Initiate is channeling their inner Blackwater Park/Deliverance-era Opeth, they are an absolute force in progressive death metal.

The Wreckage of Stars is a damn fine first full-length effort from Black Crown Initiate. It's not exactly a game changer, but there's more than enough gorgeous melodies and crushing riffs here to get any progressive death metal fan salivating. The fact that these guys were able to secure a deal with an emerging powerhouse label in E1 with only a single EP to their name tells you a lot about how talented they are, and how much potential there is for them in the years to come. With a lineup that's already this fluid in its infancy, the possibilities for the future of Black Crown Initiate are incredibly exciting to say the least.



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user ratings (224)
Chart.
3.7
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other reviews of this album
Dedes (4)
A crushing, slightly somber take on progressive death metal....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Forest159
October 2nd 2014


63 Comments


Seen these guys live twice now, and both times left unimpressed. May check this out eventually, but I don't see this being that good. Having said that, nice review. Have a pos.

artiswar
October 3rd 2014


5150 Comments


Good review for a good album. And that title track...

YuriZakhaev
October 3rd 2014


439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved their EP, but woah. This blew me away.

Funeralopolis
October 3rd 2014


14148 Comments


"I remember really thinking this was average at best. But it looks as though I'm in the minority. Perhaps I'll give it another few tries. "

sometimes minorities aren't wrong!

Digging: Wintersun - Time I

Storm In A Teacup
October 3rd 2014


24024 Comments


the conundrum of when ratings, users, reviews, album covers, and band names makes me unsure of whether I should check this or not

Lovecraft
October 3rd 2014


8 Comments


These guys were my introduction to death metal, at least the first album I heard that truly clicked with me and opened me up to the genre. I am feverishly waiting for this to be ready for listening.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2014


8839 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't think this was out yet, I'll have to check it out. Always thought this band was pretty forgettable

adr
October 3rd 2014


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

idk i liked their ep more

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2014


10385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Really need to listen to this. A lot of my metalhead friends raved about the ep when it came out and these seems to get a lot of praise so I will be listening soon.

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Sinister

climactic
October 3rd 2014


22322 Comments


this looks like something i wouldve loved 3 years ago, could be good tho, gonna chek

ZippaThaRippa
October 3rd 2014


10451 Comments


Pretty solid live performers. Not a fan of all the wankery though, solos don't have much feeling.

KILL
October 3rd 2014


81229 Comments


band sucks

cmaitland421
October 3rd 2014


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wankery? Their technicality is pretty restrained compared to a lot of other new bands in this genre.

tempest--
October 3rd 2014


20626 Comments


is this that shitty band that inserection reviewed?

tempest--
October 3rd 2014


20626 Comments


haha he deleted his review what a pussy

cmaitland421
October 3rd 2014


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Since I didn't mention it in the review, I should say that I like Song of the Crippled Bull a little bit more than this.

KILL
October 3rd 2014


81229 Comments


yo cmaitland420 check opeth its the band these dudes try to imitate most amongst the other bullshit elements

Kusangii
October 3rd 2014


2013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Except that this band knows how to write good songs, unlike blOpeth

ZippaThaRippa
October 3rd 2014


10451 Comments


"Wankery? Their technicality is pretty restrained compared to a lot of other new bands in this genre."

Their bassist's sound check was a 3 minute shred solo.

cmaitland421
October 3rd 2014


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kill you never fail to amuse.



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