The Crown – Royal Destroyer
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 45:45
Review by Victor Augusto
Ok, before I start my smooth talk, let me travel back in time. The year was 2002 and my older brother appeared at home with two albums from a Swedish Death Metal band. If you have already read my EMQ’s as an Ever Metal team member (if not, you can read it after this review, https://ever-metal.com/2020/07/14/emqs-with-victor-augusto/), you will understand how my brother has a peculiar way of insisting you listen to music. I clearly remember, to this day, when The Crown albums “Hell is Here” (1999) and “Deathrace King” (2000) started to play on our old stereo. After that, I understood how amazing the music from Sweden was. What a brilliant memory.
I really struggled to follow the band’s career, after the year of 2000, because I was living in a very poor neighbourhood, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), without access to the internet or a computer; even though those two things were becoming popular at that time. Heavy Metal was a very strange kind of music for people who lived in that place too. I had no money to buy magazines either, but the years have passed and after almost two decades, here I am. I could not believe that someday I would be able to review The Crown and it is even better considering “Royal Destroyer” is one of the band’s best albums, maybe ‘the best’, who knows? So, let’s get to the review itself.
“What is happening, Victor?”. Those were my wife’s, scared, words after I screamed a concise and loud “Holy Shit!”. Yes, it happened while I was listening to the pure destruction of the opening track ‘Baptized In Violence‘. What a killer way to open an album with its extreme Hardcore mixed with Death Metal that is The Crown’s trademark. The best thing is that ‘Let the Hammering Begin!’ and ‘Motordeath’ maintain the violence that keeps your level of adrenaline extremely high. This last one has fast guitar picks on the initial riff. Again, I could not believe that I was listening to so many insane tracks. Moreover, it doesn’t stop there.
For sure, I thought that the upcoming songs would be not as strong as the first four. Even classic albums usually have one or two tracks that are just filler to complete the set list, but with “Royal Destoyer”…bloody hell no! The only change here is the speed which becomes more cadenced, but all the tracks are pretty insane. ‘Glorious Hades’ shows the more melodic side of The Crown, without losing the heaviness. ‘Full Metal Justice’ explores their thrash metal elements more and has beautiful double kicks and fast drum fills. I loved how ‘Devoid Of Light’ brings a Morbid Angel spirit to The Crown’s identity. Everything ends with a good atmosphere on ‘Beyond The Frail’ and I could not believe what I had just heard. If my brother were with me, we would probably react like teenagers, exactly how we did 20 years ago.
Founder member Marko Tervonen is an absolute riff machine and his (not so) new partner in crime Robin Sörqvist’s guitar work makes everything more remarkable with all his solos. There is also a great chemistry between drummer Henrik Axelsson and bassist Magnus Olsfelt, another founding member. The versatility of Henrik to play fast styles, that change from Hardcore to the most brutal Death Metal, is very well complemented by the powerful bass of Magnus, as you can hear on ‘Ultra Faust’. Of course, vocalist Johan Lindstrand is also a fundamental member of the band, having been there since the beginning, when they were still called Crown of Thorns, during the nineties.
The Crown are masters of mixing their Death Metal with a lot of Thrash Metal and also a little Punk therefore their fans will know what to expect, however, this time they have utterly stamped their identity and made their music even stronger. I couldn’t imagine being able to review an album so strong that it surpasses their two masterpiece albums “Deathrace King” and “Crowned In Terror”. My first thought after hearing “Royal Destroyer” for the first time was “There is not one, single song that is bad on this album”.
If you are a fan of The Crown, you will probably know that they are one of the biggest names to have made the Swedish Metal scene famous around the world. You will also know all the ups and the few downs that the band have overcome. This line-up has basically stayed the same since “Death Is Not Dead” (2015) and their last album “Cobra Speed Venom” (2018) received a response that a legendary band deserves. As a result of all the touring from the previous album and a stable line-up, we now have “Royal Destroyer”.
It is an album made up of 100% amazing songs! It shows the experienced band we already know, but with an intense energy as if they are young and ready to conquer the world! As a reviewer, it is a pleasure to review such an amazing piece of work. As a fan, I have the same feeling listening to “Royal Destroyer” that I had when I was a young boy, back in 2002, adding in a mix of feelings from everything that I have learnt from that period until today. I am also proud to see such an important band continuing to thrive in the Worldwide Metal scene.
Grattis till Sveriges bästa band!
‘Motordeath’ (Official Video)
01. Baptized In Violence
02. Let The Hammering Begin!
04. Ultra Faust
05. Glorious Hades
06. Full Metal Justice
07. Scandinavian Satan
08. Devoid Of Light
09. We Drift On
10. Beyond The Frail
Johan Lindstrand – Vocals
Magnus Olsfelt – Bass
Marko Tervonen – Guitar
Robin Sörqvist – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Henrik Axelsson – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.