The Crown - Crowned Unholy
Metal Blade
Death Metal
12 songs (47:42)
Release year: 2004
The Crown, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Jay

As we all know, The Crown is no more. Before they broke up, they decided to go back into the studio and re-record much of their amazing 2002 release Crowned in Terror. This re-recording featuring the vocals of Johan Lindstrand, all new bass and drum tracks and reprogrammed electronic parts was to tide fans over until a new album was to be released. Yet alas, it would not be. Citing fiscal concerns, the group disbanded and this re-release became their final posthumous work.

The reasons for going back into the studio and reworking the album are many if you read the album’s liner notes. None of the band, especially bassist Magnus Olsfelt was satisfied with the recording. There were monetary, equipment and time restrictions placed on the band that led to rushed recording sessions, improper mixing and a multitude of other problems. As recording on the original progressed, the band became complacent in regards to allowing mistakes to slide. They figured that since several aspects of the recording were already not up to par, why shouldn’t they let additional things fall by the way side? Crowned in Terror was a landmark album and was, by no means, a lackluster effort. It is still my favorite release by this incredible band. The crafted melodies and sheer crushing brutality that this band is famous for come across like on none of their other releases.

Obviously, the major difference between this release and the original are the vocals. Lindstrand is a much deeper growler and has an edge to his voice that the high-pitched gravely Tomas Lindberg didn’t have. After listening to this release and Possessed 13, you really have to wonder why they got someone who sounded so dissimilar to Lindstrand to replace him on what will become their signature album. Overall, Lindstrand sounds infinitely better on pretty much every track. He was a match made in heaven for this band and it's such a boon to have this album with him on vocals. After listening to this, I may just be shelving Crowned in Terror permanently.

Bass can be heard on this album! Olsfelt was absolutely correct with being dissatisfied with his bass on the previous version. The difference is night and day. His lines, notes and talent can finally be elucidated on this release. Each song has a newfound body and booming low end that was never there before. Not to be outdone, Janne Saarenpää’s brand new drum tracks are superb as well. Augmenting the bass, the outstanding pounding fits the album like a glove. His cymbal hits, particularly the ride hits are 110% better. The new rhythm section compliments a new mix which has been remixed and remastered from the ground up. In fact, the only vestigial elements from the first album are the guitar tracks which, after being remixed sound brand new as well.

"House of Hades" has been completely reprogrammed by Saarenpää and sounds, richer, deeper and more ominous adding to their horror effect. I cannot emphasize how much better each individual song sounds. They really did a fantastic job with it. The original recording sounds like a work-in-progress demo compared to this. For the standard price you get a bonus DVD titled The Crown Invades Karlsruhe. It was shot on the Possessed 13 tour stop in Karlsruhe, Germany. While only 3 cameras are involved, the concert is in a small venue and that’s all that’s needed. The sound quality is soundboard but with a decent sound system that won’t matter too much. A set list heavy in tracks from this and Possessed 13 will certainly entertain you as well as Johan’s often irreverent stage banter. From the blast beats in the first to the last song, The Crown has transmogrified a jewel into a masterpiece. This is a must buy for any death metal fan.

Killing Songs :
Crowned in Terror, The Speed of Darkness, Death Metal Holocaust,
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Other albums by The Crown that we have reviewed:
The Crown - Royal Destroyer reviewed by Ben and quoted 76 / 100
The Crown - Doomsday King reviewed by Thomas and quoted 83 / 100
The Crown - The Burning reviewed by Thomas and quoted 80 / 100
The Crown - Hell Is Here reviewed by Thomas and quoted 92 / 100
The Crown - Deathrace King reviewed by Thomas and quoted 94 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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