Monday, September 02, 2013


Discouraged Records

Leave it to Sweden (Umeå, Sweden to be exact) to deliver another helping of fresh and exciting material in the form of a LP! I am beginning to wonder if  they just pass out instruments to newborns over there and then preach to them that their sole-goal in life will be to form either a rock and roll band or, in this case, a heavy metal one. It's possible right? Really though it does make sense that so many cool bands come from Sweden since we're talking about a place where youngsters (4th graders and up I believe?) are encouraged  to learn to play an instrument. I wish it was like that here in the States. Anyway, here we have Crowdburn who were formed in late 2010. I didn't bother with the band's description before I hit "play" so when brutal Pantera (by way of street level hardcore) kicked in I was like "Sweetness!". Then things got really interesting. Suddenly the group swung full circle and "Burning Crowd", the album's opening cut, when from this thrash/hardcore/groove number into heavy rock/heavy metal territory. Weird right? Well, actually it was cool...really cool. Here we have a "metal" that isn't afraid in the least to toss in any and everything into their sound. The difference between Crowdburn and "experiment" or "avant-garde" bands though is things never sound crazy, but rather natural. Well, there's that and then there's the fact that this 5-piece has heaps of talent and never tries to make things sound like their from another galaxy or anything. The band, which features a great lead vocalist in Aron Andersson, does a little bit of everything here. Or rather they experiment with a little bit of everything. Oops, I said the "experiment" word didn't I? Don't let that turn you off or scare you though. The guys in Crowdburn really keep things interesting, but it's also really intense so there's no way you could become confused and not realize just have HEAVY and LOUD these metal musicians are. On tracks like "Alligator" and "Fire In The Hole" the band rocks hard and thrashes even harder. These guys are NEVER afraid to lay some smack down on the listener even if they might be shaking things up music-wise. With a pair of talented guitarists (Christoffer Lindmark and Patrik Wall) making sure that the lead solos are every bit as sweet as they can be (you'll pick up on everything from Iron Maiden to Velvet Revolver!) an album like "Ignition" moves along smoothly. On bass you have a guy (Jonathan Holmgren) who keeps the bottom-end heavy and slightly fuzzy while drummer Andreas Grehn helps to keep this ship steady and on course while also making sure that the rhythm section doesn't get ignored! Even if you have a cut like "Sign Away Your Life", which almost sounds more like a 90's alternative rock number as interpreted by a modern metal act, throwing some (slight) confusion into the mix there's no denying that "Ignition" is a downright cool listening experience. If you can get past any preconceived notions that you might have about a heavy metal/thrash metal band pulling in everything from punk rock to acoustic rock then there's a wealth of treasure to be found on "Ignition". This one comes highly recommended my friends.

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