Kevin Lawry (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards), Darin McCloskey (drums), and Brian J Anthony (Mellotron) are Crowned in Earth, a very intriguing band whose latest release A Vortex of Earthly Chimes is out now on Black Widow Records. Judging by the wonderful Roger Dean inspired cover art, one would naturally assume that Crowned in Earth are a serious progressive rock band, but that's really only part of the story. These guys no doubt love their '70s prog-rock, but there's also a huge doom influence here, as well as loads of '70s hard rock and a splattering of psychedelic space rock for good measure. It's not often you hear sumptuous Mellotron smack dab in the middle of crushing Black Sabbath/Cathedral inspired doom, but that's precisely what you get on the wondrous "Watch the Waves". Lawry's vocals are drenched in effects, and his spooky singing just floats over fuzz soaked riffs and ominous keyboards. "Ride the Storm" mixes psychedelia, prog, and doom to great effect, while "World Spins Out of Key" is a straightforward hard rock bruiser, complete with heavy riffs and pounding drum work, plus some sizzling wah-wah lead guitar solos. You'll be reminded of classic Cathedral on the behemoth dirge that is "Winter Slumber", as Lawry's riffs are soaked with fuzz & distortion, making for a great doom track. The more bleak & atmospheric closer "Given Time" brings back more of those '70s prog elements to combat the doom, and features some great Hammond organ & Mellotron passages to go alongside the sections of lilting guitar chords as well as the crushing riffage. Very effective.
That's really the best way to describe A Vortex of Earthly Chimes; it's all really well done and effective, not to mention unique in the way the band mixes '70s prog with doom. You have to love all the creepy Mellotron that just pops up all over the place, and you have to wonder why more doom acts haven't thought of that before. Overall this is a well done platter of '70s styled hard rock & doom sprinkled with loads of atmospheric and spacey prog. Seek it out!
1) Ride the Storm (12:20)
2) Watch the Waves (11:30)
3) World Spins Out of Key (5:50)
4) Winter Slumber (6:10)
5) Given Time (11:26)