Kingcrow - In Crescendo review
|Release date:||February 2013|
01. Right Before
02. This Ain't Another Love Song
03. The Hatch
04. Morning Rain
05. The Drowning Line
06. The Glass Fortress
07. Summer '97
08. In Crescendo
A couple of years ago Kingcrow really surprised me with their excellent prog album Phlegeton. Not only was that album great by my prog standards, it turns out many of you thought likewise as it did fairly well in the Metal Storm Awards that year. That's already something. So, naturally, I was really excited when I found out that these progressive Italians were cooking up new stuff. Italians cooking... Hmm... Ought to be delicious, don't you think?
So, what is Kingcrow's take on prog? To some extent their approach is a straightforward one. Wait, what? That doesn't speak in their favour, you say? Hold on now, don't jump to conclusions; better take a moment to reflect on things. Wouldn't you agree that despite all the complex, twisting, and mind-bending technical stunts of modern prog, oftentimes an essence of feeling tends to be lost? Yeah, I've been down that road. To me it occurs that a good straightforward take on the genre is somewhat like a refreshing breeze. Mind you, in no way does it imply simple music, or insufficient instrument wielding skills. Oh, no, it's far from that. Kingcrow have all the skills of master musicians to deliver a great musical experience, and more. It's not that.
I'd say this straightforwardness in Kingcrow's case manifests best in a natural progression of the songs. Indeed, prog implies progression and there's progression to go around, it's just the natural variety of progression: you can feel the music moving, flowing, changing, and growing. When you listen to the album, you kind of get where it's going, you can feel there's a theme being developed there. It doesn't just go off on a tangent for the sake of being prog. It feels natural. Yes, it might be unspectacular, I'll grant you that argument. However, consistency is the key here.
In Crescendo appears consistently good, a bit gloomy, atmosphere-wise, in a way that you wouldn't even want it to be sparkling. The powerful driving riffs keep the album rolling and you just wait for the moment they kick in again. It is melodic, relying on keys for atmosphere, also leaning on heavy metal enough to have a bit of flavour but borrowing none of the tedium. Although, surprisingly and contrary to my previous experience, the vocals sometimes get to me personally. Comparisons to other bands are inherently flawed, but all the time I've been listening to this album, there's something Vanden Plas-y speaking to me.
The album starts off with unbelievably good riffs. I mean, why wait, right? Thing is, it raises the bar very high. So high, in fact, that the ballad-like beginnings of the next couple of tracks are literally a pain. Oh, they get up to speed all right. In fact, if you think to what crescendo refers to in music dynamics, you'll find this album to be very aptly titled. Its very nature is around gathering momentum. However, the only thing that really bothers me about it, is that every song appears to do this all over again from scratch. What are you waiting for? Get to the cool stuff already! "Nah, I'm just messing with you, kid. You're alright." *
Written on 05.05.2013 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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