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Started out under the name Putrid, playing gore/death-metal. Both their first demo and their first 7 EP where released under this name. In 1992 the band...
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Crowned In Earth : A Vortex Of Earthly Chimes

Has Crowned In Earth been infected by the current wave of Retro-70's-Occult-Prog? No: really, Crowned In Earth has just discovered Cathedral and Sleep.

I've seen bands evolve over the years to the point where their past and present don't match at all, the newest works being miles away from the earlier ones. I don't mind that since most of the time musical evolution also reflects mental evolution, a new maturity gained by the musicians. But, sometimes, you have to wonder what kind of thoughts go through some of our favourite artists' minds. Luckily, this is not (completely) the case with Kevin Lawry. The mastermind of Crowned In Earth is still keeping his rifle on the right shoulder, he's just aiming it in a slightly different direction now.

Crowned In Earth started as one of those numerous Black Sabbath clones in the mid-2000's, most of them being inspired either by the growing success of Reverend Bizarre or by a strange and half-expressed desire to bring into Doom Metal the 'true-ness factor' and some sort of elitism that were both prevalent in mid-90's Black Metal. Whatever the reasons, it brought us more than our share of good bands, and Crowned In Earth was one of the best of the second-rate ones. Of course, I was expecting another dose of Iommi riffs for their second album, and I was a bit surprised to discover the gorgeous cover art by Brian Tutlo, which manages to resurrect the glorious days of Roger Dean's illustrations for Yes or Uriah Heep: has Crowned In Earth been infected by the wave of Retro-70's-Occult-Prog that is currently plaguing the scene? No: really, Crowned In Earth has just discovered Cathedral and Sleep.

Yes, surprisingly, 'A Vortex Of Earthly Chimes' sounds like the bastard son of 'Caravan Beyond Redemption' (complete with a blatant thievery of Lee Dorrian's style of vocals at 7'18" of 'Ride The Storm') and 'Holy Mountain' (as 'World Spins Out Of Key' demonstrates, smelling of Pike/Cisneros) - and we're then not that far from Black Sabbath! You can even add a little bit of Godsend in their 'A Wayfarer's Tears'- era, with some dreamy prog parts. Despite what could be seen as flaws, Kevin Lawry manages to captain his boat with a jaw-dropping sense of riffing and melody. As far as it goes, 'Visions Of The Haunted' (Crowned In Earth's previous album) has been bested here, as Lawry proves his capacity for being a good songwriter as much as a good musician - some of the riffs are an opium addict's wet dream. The 70's Prog elements are essentially to be found in the fine use Brian J. Anthony makes of his mellotron, and in a clever re-interpretation of the manner bands were handling Progressive Rock back in those days: 'Given Time' is perhaps the best Progressive Doom song that has been written so far. As for the drumming, Darin MacCloskey (of Pale Divine fame) gives a good shot of groovy, yet heavy, pounding, managing to keep the pace while never sounding dull throughout the whole album.

With 'A Vortex Of Earthly Chimes', Crowned In Earth has finally found a voice of its own and released an album that is both original and firmly rooted in the old days. This is definitely better than any of Lawry's other projects (sorry to the Doom/Death fans but yes...this is a damn sight better than Silent Winter) and by far superior in every aspect to any wannabe 70's band around. If Crowned In Earth continue to release albums as good as this one, the band is sure to get massive attention from both the Doom and Prog scene. And that would be only justice.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Ride The Storm
2. Watch The Waves
3. World Spins Out Of Key
4. Winter Slumber
5. Given Time

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Crowned In Earth bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-03-08 by Laurent Lignon
Rotten Copper
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