July 2016 Album of the Month: Black Crown Initiate’s Selves We Cannot ForgiveThursday, 11th August 2016
Talk about hitting it out of the park on the first shot and trying to measure up each successive time…Black Crown Initiate has the daunting task of having to one-up themselves with each new release, as some inevitably draw comparisons to their much-revered first EP release, Song of the Crippled Bull. But BCI went a different direction this time, choosing to live up to the words that many practice but few preach – making an album that does truly feel like a change in tone from the previous release. Notably darker and downright bleak, it’s also a more challenging album that will require your full attention when you hear it. But once it clicks, it’s clear that Black Crown Initiate are one of the most talented and forward-thinking acts in metal today.
An excerpt from Kyle McGinn’s 9.5/10 review, which posted on July 15, 2016:
While those expecting Wreckage Part II will be sorely disappointed, Selves allows BCI to really spread their wings into new directions. A few things make it standout from its predecessor, but the most noticeable is just how bleak the album can be. A much darker and somber affair, there’s also more progressive flair (and less of that gut-punching death metal – though don’t fret, it certainly a heavy album). Definite nods towards Opeth and Tool come into play, with the band also trying its hand at some longer material, such as the 9-minute “Belie the Machine.” “Belie” is an adventurous track, with a bass-intensive intro before moving between BCI’s monstrous wall of death metal sound (with James Dorton sounding as demonic as ever) and a soaring chorus courtesy of guitarist Andy Thomas. There’s a lot here in just one track, and it’s clear that the band has spent time to hone in and focus on what goes into their material and give it the proper breathing room.
Selves We Cannot Forgive isn’t going to be an album that you sit down and fall in love with at first listen. It lacks many of the immediate hooks that brought many to the BCI party (think “Withering Waves”). But what Black Crown Initiate do with Selves is something even better. They really make you sit down and absorb what you are listening to. You can use the clichéd “thinking man’s death metal” if you’d like, but it’s the type of album that entices you to come back, again and again, as more of their vision falls into place. This, more than anything else, is why Black Crown Initiate continue to be on the short list of bands that make heavy metal truly exciting to listen to.
Read the entire review HERE.