For your enjoyment today, I'd like to introduce another group from Candlelight records known as Crown. From the Bandcamp page: “if Front 242 had been formed by members of Neurosis and Isis with lead weights chained to the guitar strings.. good. Very good.” To put a label to it, hesitantly, this is some dark, aggressive, industrialized doom metal. And I agree...it is “very good.”
This is another great example of a unique fusion of sounds coming together just right. That opening scream and guitar hook on “Serpents” is perfectly designed to pull you in. But Crown is quick to pull back the veil and let us know there will be a softer-albeit still dark-side of this album. The portions of clean singing backed only by ambient noise and digital drum beats, fortunately, are equally noteworthy. There is a nice back and forth between this and the dense walls of distortion that keeps the listener immersed in the experience.
True to the sludge format, Natron keeps the instrumentation pretty simple. There are stretches of echoey post-metal guitar lines like ghosts calling from the distance, basic-yet-intense bass-snare combos, use of samples, and of course waves of abominable guitar chords. The harsher vocals range from monotonous chants of a demonic hymn to Author & Punisher-styled outbursts of effects-laden bile.
Some of the builds (“Wings Beaten Over Heaven”) are just breath-taking. I checked back a few times to see if I was in fact still listening to the same song. All of the parts flow so nicely, and yet are surprisingly different in style and aesthetic. The following track, “Fossils” is even more out there, taking on a form that could only loosely be called metal. This moody song is some alternative rock that crossbreeds Radiohead, Mr. Gnome, and the Silent Hill 3 OST. Put mildly, it's a beautiful moment that still manages to not feel out of place wedged between such crushing levels of doom.
So whether you like your music a little more grungy and alternative, or thick and sludgy; Crown seem to have something for everyone. More importantly, they do this without sacrificing the cohesiveness of the album. All of these varied approaches come together to form something that is enjoyable from start to finish. You can pick it up on Bandcamp for $7.50. At the time of writing this, the full album was not yet streaming there, but you can hear it in full via CVLT Nation