Check it out: no less than four names! Swedish death metallers changed monikers to The Crown after being confronted by the AOR act with the same name. While the band has become less extreme with its Metal Blade albums, The Crown is still an extreme metal band. 2001 saw the departure of Lindstrad who was quickly replaced by former At The Gates singer Thomas Lindberg. Drummer Janne guested on the No Mercy Tour for God Dethroned in 2001.
CROWN OF THORNS - ETERNAL DEATH - BLACK SUN
It is no secret that death metal has taken a grand beating in the last three years or so. Labels such as Century Media, Nuclear Blast, Relapse, etc. which became what they are through the graces of death metal and its fans have abandoned the genre in favour of greener pastures. Century Media, the label which exists today because Morgoth's early growls kept the cash flowing into its office, is now the hot-bed for trendy hardcore and goth rock. Relapse which began life churning out death metal 7"s is now The Land of a Thousand noise bands. Believe it or not the first Incantation CD outsold Amorphis' debut. This list goes on and on. So what is the root cause of this trend? Is it that as the labels claim death metal has outlived its creative stage? Or is it that the labels have wimped out? Perhaps the respective proprietors have grown older and are concentrating on their pensions. Whatever the reason, I hereby have proof that death metal is not only not dead, but as creative as ever. In the tradition of very strong recent death metal releases by Cryptopsy, At The Gates, Deranged, et al comes the second album of Sweden's Crown of Thorns. Taking me by quite a surprise, Eternal Death is truly an album where all the elements have managed to come together, creating an opus that rarely churns out a weak moment. Musically, with songs like Angels Die, World Within and Hunger (all three songs being paradigms of great soloing and riffing), the band proves that while At The Gates might be gone, fans can still find life in its wake. Here is life in an album that heralds death. The band is not as instantaneous as its countrymen were on Slaughter Of The Soul, but produces enough talented fare through the very fine solos and well-arranged rhythms to warrant strong attention. The vocals nimbly crisscross the line of growls and screams with the music blasting away ferociously at most times. Set within a motif of death, the ten musical stabs gel to produce what might very well be the surprise album of the year. Could this be proof that excellent death metal is out there for the looking? - Ali "The Metallian"