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  • The Crown - Hell is Here

    The Crown - Hell is Here
    1998 Metal Blade Records


The Crown - Hell is Here

1998 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-08-11

Opening off with what's basically the opening riff from Sodomy and Lust, I almost didn't even give The Crown a chance, which would have been somewhat of a loss for me. Surviving past the first 3 minutes of blastbeats, Hell is Here really begins to open up into an eclectic hybrid of pre-discovered songs. Existing as a frankenstein of sorts, fusing metal, classical, and country (!) into what amounts to a real punk album, this album sounds almost as if it was recorded 10 years ago, deemed to crazy to release, and then shelved until this year. Akin to a Amtrak driver all coked up, songs fly off on tangential bursts of speed, suddenly slicing the tempo and introducing a new melody. Really weird, but more often than not, it works, although when it doesn't work... I definitely prefer the writing style of guitarist Marko Tervonen, who I'm assuming is the catalyst behind this bastardization of styles, over bassist Magnus, who appears to carry the punk approach. Also spot him sportin' a nice ol' Rickenbacker (Lemme 5, anyone?), so I have a pretty good guess as to his major influence. Also appreciate the band more when they dish out the madness at less than 6000 RPMs, but as Janne Saarenpaa is credited with playing "real drums" on the album, I guess they're pretty committed to the whole hyper-punk speed thing. Some real positives include that no two tracks sound similar, so if one song doesn't catch your fancy (or one RIFF, for that matter), chances are it'll be gone before you can say Unquestionable Presence. Production-wise, again, a real punky feel, not as heavy as it could be, and the drum sound is a bit thin, making the ultra fast snare rolls sound like a paper drum being attacked. Overall, a pretty interesting album which doesn't allow itself to be pigeon-holed, appearing quite familiar yet managing to attain a certain degree of originality, and for this, I recommend it.