Crown the Lost - Blind Faith Loyalty
Cruz Del Sur Music
Progressive Melodic Thrash
10 songs (54'40")
Release year: 2009
Crown the Lost, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

Since I last held a Crown the Lost album in my hands, many events took place in the life of their guitarist David Gehlke. First, he tried how the other shoe fits, going on to secure the gig writing for Metal Maniacs. As the magazine appears to be over (read my editorial this week), at least for now, David would have to find a new avenue for his journalistic release. Crown the Lost, meanwhile, has been going strong. This band from Pittsburgh, PA, got another full-length under their belt, signed with a quality label, Italian Cruz Del Sur, and about to play support at the Exodus show.

Blind Faith Loyalty takes on the better points of the debut Reverence Dies Within and tries to improve them. Playing their own style of progressive thrash with even amounts of power metal and melodic death additives, the band really focused on in-song dynamics this time around. Just like a good figure skating pair being able to connect their technical elements with interesting step sequences, Crown the Lost makes their songs complete carefully melding barbed chops, fluid thrash, tons of melody and mostly clean singing in a single composition. The band never falls into mindless ear-slamming chug, staying involved as much as possible, especially in the guitar department. They absolutely detest and forego breakdowns so popular nowadays, preferring instead to rock with jumpy Swede-thrash marking the beginning of Drawing the Parallel and Hollow Refuge, so reminiscent of Sacrilege and At the Gates, or to dazzle with The Gallery inspired lead in same Drawing the Parallel. Even the slightest touch of chord repetition is extinguished by another fluid lead and heroic chorus in Finality. Just like the kids with an attention deficit disorder, Crown the Lost never can afford a moment to sit still, but they have enough of their own inner psychotherapist to make sense of the whole.

The production on Blind Faith Loyalty is much improved compared with Reverence Dies Within (bigger budget?), but it is still a little too quiet for my taste. Even now I am forced to turn the volume level up in my car player when listening to the album, but it is hard not to notice much meatier bass, now played by Shaun Gunter.

Where I am still not 100% down with Crown the Lost is their vocalist Chris Renaldi. His clean singing is rather unique in the style of music Crown the Lost plays, making a crossover into power metal, especially on the marching Bound to Wrath with its double bass anthemic chorus and acoustic outro. Last time I compared Chris to Michael Grant from Onward, but I think I have even better placement this time. Now evoking Tim Aymar for me, Chris’ smooth soaring singing totally fits in melodic choruses of Drawing the Parallel and Dreaming in Reverse, but I would love to hear more grit in many other places on the album. Chris is rather stratospheric, yet precise, with his high pitched screams (Privation), but as the band needs to grate emotionally they reach for an unpolished growl of Joe Bonaddio. Used only sparingly, I can’t say the clean-harsh vocal counterpoints were my favorite album moments.

My picky criticisms aside, Crown the Lost represents quality and maturity. Straddling some cross-genre lines, I can see Pharaoh fans, who need to receive their Maiden fix in every song, enjoying Blind Faith Loyalty. Those who still mourn Control Denied demise, due to the untimely passing of Chuck Schuldiner, can also find solace in Crown the Lost, especially given guitar acrobatics and vocal similarities. This is not mention the countless fans of Gothenborg style, growing a little weary of the sameness besieging melodic death genre these days. Try Crown the Lost instead and you won’t be disappointed. My final personal reaction - it was nice to see the promise fulfilled.

Killing Songs :
Drawing the Parallel, Bound to Wrath
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Crown the Lost that we have reviewed:
Crown the Lost - Reverence Dies Within reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
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