I don't know what the problem is - or, rather, was - with The Crown. Their previous two albums somehow lacked something. A friend of mine reviewed one of them, I reviewed the other, and both were deemed decidedly average, bordering on the boring.

Not so "Crowned in Terror"! I don't know what's different, exactly, but I almost instantly liked this one, right from the intro and the frenetic "House of Hades" to the final "Death Metal Holocaust". There's some good guitar work to be found, some cool riffing going on, and Tomas Lindberg's lyrics and vocal delivery (though less extreme than in At The Gates) also convince. "Crowned in Terror" combines some of the Gothenburg sound with various other influences, resulting in a remarkably varied album. "House of Hades" and the title track are full of vibrant energy, whereas "Drugged Unholy" is slower and very, very heavy. There's even quite a bit of melody to be discerned in "(I Am) Hell".

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Written February 2002


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