Pennsylvania progressive death metal act Black Crown Initiate are set to unleash their debut for eOne Music, and it's a release you'll want to make sure you put on your immediate radar. The Wreckage of Stars takes many styles of metal and combines them all into one thunderous attack, as the precision riffing, atmospheric textures, soaring clean vocals, and venomous growls all blend seamlessly for a brutal, technical, and at times quite beautiful listening experience. The members of BCI are James Dorton (Vocals), Rik Stelzpflug (Guitar and Vocals), Andy Thomas (Guitar and Vocals), Nick Shaw (Bass), and Jesse Beahler (Drums).
One thing you quickly notice when playing The Wreckage of Stars is just how well produced the album is, as sonically speaking it's a masterful listening experience. Then, you notice how tight the arrangements are, how varied the vocal attack has been laid out, and the absolute skill of the musicians involved. This is what progressive extreme metal SHOULD sound like. The jackhammer riffing of "Great Mistake" is monstrous, and the fluctuation of soaring clean vocals with brutal growls on "Malignant" is so well done, complemented by daring drum fills and an endless supply of inventive riffing and delicate acoustic guitar. Think early Opeth, but perhaps slightly more technical. "The Human Lie Manifest" is pure, unadulterated death metal with some fantastic riffing, while "Withering Waves" ups the technical ante to inhuman levels, a must hear for any fan of Between the Buried & Me. For something completely different there's the spooky & atmospheric title track, which builds from an ethereal opening featuring lush guitar chords to a crushing finale, as monolithic riffs & blast beats pummel your senses, growls & clean vocals fighting for supremacy. Great stuff. Fast & furious technical death metal is all the rage on the manic "Shapes Collapse", and the 'light & dark' sounds of "Purge" contain both moments of pure beauty as well as savagery. These guys really know how to create compelling melodies and blend them with crushing, brutal metal.
This is one hell of an impressive full-length debut from Black Crown Initiate, who have instantly signaled they are going to be a major force on the progressive extreme metal scene. Highly recommended!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
- Great Mistake
- The Fractured One
- The Human Lie Manifest
- Withering Waves
- To The Eye That Leads You
- The Wreckage of Stars
- Shapes Collapse