BLACK CROWN "Caverns of Thantifaxath"

Black Crown is a two-man Black Metal band from Ohio formed in 2018 run by Haxxan member Jake Arnette (here known as The Mountain VVitch), who handles everything except the bass work, which is played by someone called Heretic. There is not a whole lot more info available on the band that I could find, but they clearly would rather the music speak for itself, as it is a slab of grim, evil Black Metal with the occasional nod to Death Metal in the riffing (unsurprising, since Jake was a bass player for Necrophagia before their demise). This is mostly mid-paced and heavy affair that focuses more on establishing dark and chilling atmospheres throughout the compositions, most notably on the venomous, borderline Death Metal track "Whore of the Qliphoth". That said, this remains a solid album throughout, and anyone in the mood for some Black Metal that is not above mixing in some Death Metal will find this to be a good time.

BLACK CROWN "Caverns of Thantifaxath"

There are some releases that match your taste completely, so from the first listen you know that they will be in your playlist for a long time. That has happened with Caverns of Thantifaxath that I have been listening to it from time to time since I received it in January (2021). The band behind this release is called Black Crown, they come from the United States and they exist since 2018. Caverns of Thantifaxath is their first album and was released by the collaboration of three record labels, Satanath Records and More Hate Productions, both from Russia, and The End of Time Records from Ireland, in a very nice, limited edition CD with twelve-page booklet. The album contains nine tracks, eight Black Metal songs and one atmospheric, acoustic, instrumental one, with overall duration of about thirty-nine minutes. The music of Black Crown is balancing between brutality and melody. They have managed to present a dark, brutal but at the same time very melodic Black Metal, with various elements that give a unique personality to the final result. The riffs mix various styles such as heavy and solid Death Metal, slow and heavy Doom, there are also some parts with ugly, disharmonic riffs and of course the distinctive melodic and dark Black Metal riffs. Apart from the very interesting riffs, the band present some parts performed by woodwind instruments. They do not mention which ones exactly are used and I cannot be sure what they use, but their sound and the way the band includes their parts into the composition is something that you do not usually encounter, and it surely gives a unique character to the band. The compositions last from four to six minutes and their structure has a very distinct form, going from an interesting verse to a catchy chorus and to a verse again. There are also some bridges which add variety and make the compositions more interesting. Regarding the performance of the instruments, Heretic is responsible for the bass and The Mountain VVitch for vocals, guitars and the woodwinds, while the drums are performed by a session drummer named Nick Chiudioni. Each musician has done their part carefully and professionally with no mistakes, nice technique and a lot of passion. The guitars are dark, heavy and solid delivering the melodies flawlessly. Along with the massive bass, they create a thick, foggy and really dark atmosphere. The woodwinds instruments’ performance, although their lines are not too complex, is very good, adding the element in specific parts that make the sound unique. The drums are stable and passionate, with their very energetic performance and the variety of their lines make the compositions even more interesting. The vocals are harsh Black Metal vocals which become deep, Death Metal ones and generally they are the only thing that I didn’t like that much as they are not as expressive as I would like, they are monotonous and their tone does not have anything distinctive. The production is dark and atmospheric while the mixture is balanced creating a very massive result. The lyrics are written in English and they are contained in the 12-page booklet. They speak about ancient gods, myths, demons and rituals. In conclusion, Caverns of Thantifaxath, is a very good effort, showing that the band has the talent but also the need to create and to present interesting music, in a professional way. Generally, their music is an easy listen and the entire album can be listened smoothly a lot of times without becoming tedious or boring to the listener. The tracks I liked most are Lahamu: The Awakening, The Rise of Ashtaroth, The Dweller and The Nine Hells. I am sure that every Black Metal fan will like this release, as also it might be appreciated by the fans of melodic Death Metal too.

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