The One

Superstrong 2012

A rolling slow-motion avalanche of sludge confronts you as you listen to the debut EP from France's Crown.  Though I am not sure you could qualify this as an EP since it is over 30 minutes long.  The album opens with a monolithic riff staring you in the face on Cosmogasm.  As graceful and as speedy as a sloth the riffs rise and fall while distant sounding vocals scream out their disdain.  The song drops into chilling ambience and wavering guitar for a feeling of isolation.  A calmer, more evocative mirage of sweltering guitar shimmers as the title-track begins.  Then fat, rumbling rhythms lurch forward like smoke-belching automatons.  Dry, monotone vocals drift into the distance like a desert wind.  Wavering synth and fragile guitar creating such a despondent tone for the beginning of 100 Ashes.  The sharp snap of the drum machine accentuates the slow, methodical nature of the track.  Somber guitar once again shimmers as Mare gets underway.  An ominous undercurrent of synth sets you up for the monstrous riffs that lumber from out of the darkness as the song progresses.  A certain sludgy fatness of the guitars creates even more weight to the riffs.  The final track, Orthodox, utilizes an industrial, almost tribal beat to pound its way into your consciousness.  The dry vocals return for an almost dreamlike effect.  The guitars however use angular notes that scrape across the fabric of the song.  The track then changes mood for guitarwork that brings on a late afternoon melancholy.  Like a long lost yet hazily remembered day. Crown create music that appeals to the splinters that pierce my soul with sorrow.  Lethargic riffs crush you on The One while all that delicate guitarwork imbues the album with a sense of isolation.  It's like being trapped in an empty city at night.