Svart Crown - Witnessing The Fall
Listenable Records
Black/Death Metal
10 songs (45:10)
Release year: 2010
Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat

French mixmasters Svart Crown play a murky form of blackened death metal, sounding at times like recent Deathspell Omega. There’s also a lot of influence from modern blasthordes such as Behemoth, the band approaching their genre with a modern technicality rather than the old-school focus I was rather hoping for. Despite that, Witnessing The Fall is a more than interesting introduction to Svart Crown’s considerable talents, songs being blast-fuelled oceans of carefully-controlled chaos that writhe and buckle beneath you most seductively, varying their approach from atmospheric crawl to all-out fury. This was actually a nice surprise to me, pulled in by the promising name and the shared drummer with Glorior BelliSvart Crown were formed in 2004 and members have done time in other acts such as Addicted and Celtic Blood, yet this is a remarkably well-forged vision from a band only on their second album. Heck, even introduction Where The Light Ends is a compelling, tense build-up that explodes rather epically into first track proper Colosseum, frantic blasts and shuddering waves of riffage devolving quickly into an enjoyable Behemothic tantrum.

Dogs Of God continues in a similar manner, almost a continuance of the previous track, slowing for melodic atmospheric buzzes, speeding into a complex mid-paced surge that shows the band’s skills off at their best. It’s hard to say who’s the most talented member, as they play as a real unit, even vocalist JB fitting right in. Nahash The Temptator’s epic meander is a highlight, as is the almost invocatory feel of Here Comes Your Salvation, and An Eternal Descent, starting life as a technical bulldozer and ending as an insane atmospheric dirge. Eight-minute finale Of Sulphur And Fire is probably my favourite of the bunch, beginning with ominous melody and slowly growing into a doomish crawl, building speed and spitting venom, marvellous stuff. Of course, praise must be tempered with criticism; if the band have a fault, it’s that they can sound a little too much like a Behemoth clone at times – Incestuous Breath an example in point. The oddness of the riffs and general unsettling atmosphere helps to distinguish them, but it wouldn’t hurt for them to develop their own sound a little more. I’m more than prepared to recommend them despite that, as the band’s form of extreme metal is a very enjoyable one, growing on you like a particularly unhealthy form of mushroom. Svart Crown is a name to remember.

Killing Songs :
Colosseum, Nahash The Temptator, An Eternal Descent, Of Sulphur And Fire
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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