Fort Lauderdale with its sandy beaches and cruise ships, the city is a popular tourist destination. The many canals, waterways and artificial lakes, which has given the city the name America Of Venice. Now the city can also boast of having a really good metal band. Notice the name first as last, Northern Crown.
The americans has sharpened their self-titled second full-length record, combining more dirty rock organ and chunky guitar riffs with their trademark doom-isms. Following up on their debut album The Others, their self-titled sophomore release maintains the smoke and mirrors of the first EP In The Hands of The Betrayer but leans more in the direction of the first record and the band’s oldest rock influences, DIO, Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath.
As one of the oldest genres of heavy metal, doom metal’s roots are buried deep and anchor the extensive forest that heavy metal has become. Northern Crown pays homage to those who have come before in its approach to riffs, organ use, and pacing, but doesn’t let the old school ways of doom define it.
Northern Crown handled mixing on their own again, but brought in the mastering talents of Tony Lindgren from Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios (Witchcraft, Enslaved, Amorphis) for the final touches. Artwork by prolific artist Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Death) captures the album’s winding atmosphere, rounding out the release.
Reflecting the uncertainty of the dark times we exist in at the moment, Northern Crown tackles the difficult subject of how well we really know ourselves and how that shapes what we do and become. Echoing their previous releases indulgent 10-minute+ epics, the track, The Desert and The Wind, nods to the prog-heads, while the band also includes a glowing tribute to My Dying Bride with a full cover of Your River.
The record also introduces a lineup change, with vocalist and guitarist Frank Serafine handling drums. Weaponlord’s mighty Leona Hayward returns on bass, backing Zachary Randall‘s guitar alchemy and harsh vocals. Solos from Nightfall/Dark Hound lead shred-monster Evan Hensley punctuate the record.