July was packed with strong releases. With some quality highly anticipated albums seeing the light of day in July, (Defeated Sanity, Gaerea, Imperial Triumphant), I decided to focus on some of my favourites from last month that were less likely to get loads of media coverage, (and it was a struggle to limit the selection to five). So, with that in mind, my highlights are below. What are yours? Continue reading
I thoroughly enjoyed Northern Crown’s first EP In the Hands of the Betrayer, so when their debut album popped up, I was keen to give it a listen.
The band play traditional doom metal with a good smattering of heavy metal throughout, although it should also be noted that they have started to branch out from this, here and there, marking an increased confidence and comfortableness with how they approach their material. Continue reading
Northern Crown’s début EP In the Hands of the Betrayer is a thoroughly enjoyable slab of Metal that any Doom/Heavy Metal fan should rightfully have in their collection. I wanted to find out more so I quizzed multi-instrumentalist Zach…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Hey there! So we are Northern Crown from the US. We’re based between South Florida and Nashville, TN. We play what we like to call “Epic Doom Metal”.
Give us a bit of history to Northern Crown
I formed Northern Crown in January of 2013…it had a different vibe initially. It was more of a jammy stoner/sludge vibe. It was a 3 piece with me on vocals. That lineup didn’t really work out and as I was writing this album, the sound really transformed. As I began recording the album, I was put in touch with Frank and Josh through a mutual friend. Randy, Sally and Roberto are all friends of mine. The lineup for this record end up coming together really quickly.
What are your influences?
Classic heavy metal, classic doom metal, 70’s rock. Specifically, Black Sabbath, Dio, Candlemass, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple. Really, anything epic and heavy.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
I’ve got a few things…I’ve been in a bit of a 90’s mode, so I’ve been listening to Edge of Sanity Crimson on endless repeat. It’s a great album…and if you’ve never heard it, you’re missing out.
I’m also big into the hard rock/proto metal stuff that’s coming out of Sweden like Witchcraft, Graveyard and Horisont.
What did you want to achieve with your new release?
Fame and fortune? Barring that, get our name out to the metal public and build some momentum for our next release and hopefully some live performances.
Tell us the meaning behind the title.
Without getting SUPER specific, the title “In the Hands of the Betrayer” is about me putting a great trust and responsibility in another person and they failed in the worst way possible.
Are you happy with how it turned out?
As someone who drives themselves really hard, I’m never totally happy with anything I do, but I’m really proud of this record and everybody that was involved.
What can you tell us about the lyrics?
The lyrics are all pretty personal…and I won’t get into specifics as I want people to take their own meaning from the songs…but each original track on the record tells the story of 3 particularly bad, life altering days in my life. Dramatic? Yes…but also cathartic.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.
This album was written by me and the songs were basically finished before anybody else got involved. Frank wrote all the vocal melodies. My hope is to be more collaborative on the next release.
Tell us about the cover song on In The Hands of the Betrayer – why this band and why this song?
Firstly, I love Candlemass and they’re obviously the single biggest influence on this band. Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is one of my all-time favourites and Crystal Ball is such a heavy, powerful and groovy song.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
We’re a traditional Heavy Metal and Doom Metal band…and I want to continue to explore that sound while keeping it modern. I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface yet in what we can do with arrangements, whether it be vocals, organ or guitars.
What does the future hold for Northern Crown?
The near future is going to be spent promoting the début. I’ve already done some initial writing. Hopefully next year we get out and play some gigs and release a follow up to the EP later in 2015.
Our début EP, “In the Hands of the Betrayer” is out on October 14! You can find us online @ http://doommet.al
The band play Heavy/Doom Metal in its original guise and with added organ accompaniment. Although the band play slow on occasion, this is more on the Heavy Metal side of things than Doom, although there’s a fair amount of crossover in the genres anyway.
Played well and with obvious enthusiasm; Northern Crown are a very likeable and personable band. Choruses ring out and juicy melodies are used. Guitars unleash sonic hell with evocative leads and molten solos. The rhythm guitars are nicely chunky and tasty, emotive riffs are the bedrock of the songs.
These tracks span varying speeds from the up-tempo to mid-paced to straight Doom Metal. All the while the organs add that extra layer to proceedings.
If you like the heavier works of Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio then Northern Crown should be right up your street. The inclusion of a Candlemass cover should seal the deal and rounds out the influences.
This is Metal through and through and a very promising start to what will hopefully be a long and productive career.