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Kingcrow: In Crescendo

2013 has really kicked off in style thanks to stellar new albums like this one from the progressive band Kingcrow. In Crescendo is the fourth release from the Italians, this is quite an atmospheric recording which sounds crystal clear thanks to the excellent production that heightens the attraction values.

Kingcrow's choice of progressive music is an engaging fusion of metal and rock, you can hear the inspiration from others that Kingcrow have taken on board and style wise Kingcrow aren't that distant from celebrated progressive groups like Porcupine Tree and Riverside. Porcupine Tree actually sprang to mind when I heard "The Drowning Line" which as it kicks off sounds as though it was based on the Porcupine Tree song "Deadwing", and like that memorable song this is also a great number.

In Cresendo has Kingcrow opening with a powerful song called "Right Before" allowing the members of Kingcrow to display their technical prowess. " This Ain't Another Love Song" is a musical chameleon of sorts that shifts from a tranquil song to rock then metal and back closing in a more peaceful state. That soft music continues into a totally captivating song "The Hatch" which is also quite diverse and has so much to offer. "Morning Rain" is a slow gentle composition that builds up to a powerful performance from the band while "The Glass Fortress follows a similar pattern allowing their drummer to get animated and unleash some double kicks. "Summer '97" features more engrossing music which then leads us to the finale, title and longest track "In Crescendo" where Kingcrow bring this album to a triumphant conclusion with so much great and complex at times music and as with the other seven songs the vocals are also very inviting.

Watch out for Kingcrow's In Crescendo as I am sure this wonderful new album will receive loads of favorable approvals. In Crescendo is one album that really lifts your spirits, and isn't that a great thing when you find a quality release that has such a truly positive effect.

Track list:
1. Right Before
2. This Ain't Another Love Song
3. The Hatch
4. Morning Rain
5. The Drowning Line
6. The Glass Fortress
7. Summer '97
8. In Crescendo

Added: February 9th 2013
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6128
Language: english

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Kingcrow: In Crescendo
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-02-12 14:39:15
My Score:

Are you sitting in your favorite easy chair? Comfortable? Speakers up close, or are your headphones on?

Ok…I guess you're ready.

This is the best album of the year…so far. So you'll need your full attention.

Ok…ready? That first step is a rocket launch, so make sure you're settled. 'Right Before' is in your face immediately after Della Polla's keyboards welcome you aboard for the ride. Just like going over the top of the rollercoaster, Cafolla's rifling lead guitar riff and D'Errico's pulsing heavy bass lines take over the song and fire this car like your favorite amusement ride. Thundra's pulsating and then hammering drums will surround your ears and clean out any doubt you might have had, after maybe listening to someone else's album before this one. Just like a charcoal filter clears your senses, this song will give you hope beyond Rush's mediocre release last year. Keep your seatbelt buckled…you'll need it. ;^)

Then they slow things down as you ease back in the chair after being thrust forward with motion and emotion. 'This Ain't Another Love Song' opens slowly like another love song, with cool keys and guitar chords, but then the speed picks up to keep with the track title. Marchesi's vocals are even better than 'Phlegethon'. That time in the USA playing at Progpower in Atlanta last year really inspired them to work even harder. They are coming back to the US this year as part of RoSFest 2013. Having a drummer like Thundra must give this band a wonderful confidence to know this guy can hammer it. The drum solo…hope there will be an even longer one someday, is simply indescribable. You have to hear it…and loud.

'The Hatch' opens slowly, full of mystery with keys, bass, and interesting lead guitar. This track is a great showcase for Marchesi's vocals. Their last album was awesome, and I didn't know how they could have improved it. But they have. A better storyline and clearer vocals. The lead guitar, bass, and drums are proof that this will remain one of the best albums of the year. Marchesi's vocals pull through the soundscape and shout out his message. Oh yeah…and none of these tracks leave you wanting more music. They are long tracks full of virtuoso musicianship. Like a slingshot…this one will come back at you long after you turn off the album.

Hard to pick a favorite track on an album like this, where all of the tracks are perfect. But 'Morning Rain' might be the one. Mainly…I think because I was lucky enough to hear it in its infant stages a year ago from a member the band. Takes me right back to Queensr˙che's 'Silent Lucidity'. Complete with epic strings, launching guitar… solid bass, and yes…those ever present drums. Gentlemen… eccellente! You should be proud. ;^)

Get your running shoes back on, because 'The Drowning Line' will pick up the pace and tempo again. Excellent keys get you started then the pumping bass, lead guitar chords and the rhythm of the percussion and drums. Thundra's piston – firing drum shots are excellent, as are Cafolla's and Nastasi's Rush like lead guitar rhythms. Only I think they're better, than Rush's last album. The way those grinding guitars mix so well with the lightning keys, punching bass, and yes those amazing drums is worth the price of admission. You can tell they had a lot of fun making this one. Probably this will be their first video.

'The Glass Fortress' opens soft and slow to picked guitar, strings, and deep bass. Sounds a little like Dream Theater's 'Space-Dye Vest'. But then excellent new lead guitar chords and fresh keyboards remind you this is a young Italian band.

'Summer '97'…they need to do more songs like this in the future. Yes, everyone has their own memories. We were younger. The economy was on fire. It felt like you could do anything. From the sounds of the lyrics on this track it seems Kingcrow was also on top of the world as well.

'In Crescendo'…ah…the epic. Eleven minutes of deep, introspective thought and emotion. A powerful story, which I will not give away. Drums pounding, bass providing deep rhythm, keys trickle all over the soundscape, and lightning guitar setting the whole thing on fire...simply amazing. The last album may have been 'Phlegethon', but this one ignites the wick and the flame never dims.

This is a game changer album for this band. Of course I said that with 'Phlegethon' as well. But now with ProgPower, Pain of Salvation, and RoSFest recognizing their talent, the stars are the limit for this band. Do yourself a favor, climb aboard the bandwagon and buy one of the best albums of 2013, 'In Crescendo'.

Kingcrow: In Crescendo
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-02-09 14:22:13
My Score:

Not content to rest on their laurels, Italy's Kingcrow make a quick-fire return to action with their fourth album In Crescendo, after their rightly well received 2011 effort Phlegethon. In recent times Italy has become a real hotbed of progressive metal talent, some, possibly most of which is undoubtedly happy to ape the kings of the genre Dream Theater. Kingcrow on the other hand bring more of a Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Opeth slant to things resulting in an album that while reminiscent of all of those bands, actually couldn't be confused for any of them. More powerful than Riverside, possessing a more powerful voice than P Tree, less extreme than Opeth and less naval gazing than Dream Theater, Kingcrow cover ground from power metal, heavy-symphonic, progressive rock and indeed prog metal. It is a powerful mix and one hammered home through crafted arrangements, a crystal clear mix and production, stunning musical execution and, most importantly excellent songs that are both technical and extremely memorable.

Even with the majority of the eight songs on In Crescendo clocking in at over six minutes, it is an album that simply whizzes past through its varying atmospheres and approaches, remaining remarkably cohesive and connected throughout. Vocally things often venture into a less emotionally charged Geoff Tate like vein, lending the more restrained passages a welcome early/mid Queesnryche feel, while the full sound packs a punch that somehow still sits just on the right side of progressive and metal, without tumbling into the standard prog-metal abyss. "Right Before" combines a bristling riff, synth strings and a drum-led breakdown that alters the focus, while "The Hatch" finds Dream Theater and Riverside colliding headlong, with a Queensrychian chorus. Add to that the lengthy, but not overlong title track, where everything from staccato barrages of guitar, acoustic guitar and vocal only passages as well as a stunningly technical prog-metal outro and In Crescendo really has the ability to be all things to all progressive men and women.

Atmospheric and bombastic, reserved yet in your face, technical but restrained and challenging while being memorable, In Crescendo finds this Kingcrow ready to join the progressive genres elites.

Kingcrow: In Crescendo
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-02-07 14:40:27
My Score:

Italy's Kingcrow certainly didn't waste much time following up their excellent 2011 release Phlegethon, as they are back here at the start of 2013 with In Crescendo, another strong platter of dark, dramatic progressive rock & metal. They might not be creating the most original music the genre has ever seen (I still hear plenty of Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Dream Theater, and Redemption in their material), but there's no denying that these guys are skilled at what they do and are able to consistently deliver albums of really high quality. Just listen to the power of the riffs, the emotion of the vocals, and the sophistication of the keyboards on the opening statement of "Right Before" to see what I mean. There's also a good amount of variety here, as Kingcrow go from atmospheric, proggy material to more driving rock & metal themes with ease. Filled with catchy musical textures & melodies, which at times are somewhat intricate, only adds to their appeal, and the vocals are flat out addicting.

Sometimes it's to a bands detriment to release an album at the start of the new year, as there is the fear that some critics and fans will tend to forget about it as the year draws to a close. I don't think Kingcrow will have any problem with this, as In Crescendo is that damn good and should easily be stuck in many CD & media players for a good part of the year if not longer.

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