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Kröwnn : Magmafröst

When Kröwnn hit their stride, this debut full-length sounds like an organic, living thing.

The cover of Kröwnn's follow-up to 2013's 'Hyborian Age': this year's 'Magmafröst', by artist Raoul Mazzero, evokes visions of sword battles on horseback and evil winged serpent Gods the likes of which erupted from the fertile imaginations of fantasy authors Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and H.P Lovecraft... The music within doesn't disappoint, so sometimes you really can judge a book by it's cover.

Italy's Kröwnn (pronounced crown) came together in 2012 and is a hearty emulsion of guitarist/singer Michele Carnielli, bass player Silvia Selaggia Rossato, and drummer Elena Fiorenzano. They deliver an appealing old school Trad-Doom with just a touch of 90's Seattle in the understated yowl of the vocals, that at times is suggestive of Alice in Chains' lamented Layne Staley.

The unremitting hero of this music though is the riff... The mighty riff! An endless cascade that pours from Carnielli's guitar in tandem with Rossato's bass, is the driving force to this indomitable doom machine: Kröwnn.

'Magmafröst' opens with mellow instrumental intro similar in feel to Black Sabbath's 'E5150' from 'Mob Rules' before launching into the thundering 'Skeksis Dance' and 'Wyvernking', both very strong, very doomy cuts comparable to Candlemass, and The Sword. But it's the fourth tune 'Wolfhunt' where Kröwnn really hit their stride. 'Wolfhunt' features cool wah-pedal guitar and veers directly into Stoner territory with a loose bass propelled groove... It's my favorite of the bunch and in time should be considered one of their classics.

All of the players acquit themselves impeccably but the most compelling aspect of this album is the oscillating tempo, it seems to be of an organic living thing, not using the common overproduction tether of a click-track, but of three like-minded skilled musicians jamming TOGETHER, forming the character of these songs, these hymns to Odin, Crom, and all the old Gods of fable and fiction.

I have scant criticism of 'Magmafröst' save for the closing instrumental outro, that at 5 minuets in length should have been trimmed by half. And that often the vocals are a little too buried in the mix under the sea of guitars. But it's that very same thick, swirling vortex of multi-layered guitar work that makes 'Magmafröst' a must-own monument to Stoner-Doom.

Dally no more! Head on out to your local music shop or favorite online retailer and purchase this fine title today... What are you waiting for: Go!

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Bennu
2. Skeksis Dance
3. Wyvernking
4. Wolfhunt
5. To Minas Morgul
6. Sleipnir
7. Forge of Crom
8. Cernunnos

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Kröwnn bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-08-02 by Kevin Baird
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