ReviewsCrownshift - Crownshift (Nuclear Blast)

Crownshift – Crownshift (Nuclear Blast)

A bit of a ‘supergroup’ so to speak, in that there’s a number of established names that make up the new act Crownshift. With members ranging from Children of Bodom, Finntroll, MyGrain, and Nightwish, needless to say there’s a lot of expectations for a quality product, and even the band names swirling around by association seem to lead things in that direction. While Crownshift does showcase a bold swath of talent across the board, it doesn’t quite reach the massive potential but serves as a positive introduction to a new melodic death metal face.

One of those albums that captures a melodeath feeling without drawing comparisons to any of the usual references, it is hard to discuss Crownshift without a healthy dose of Devin Townsend namechecks. It’s the piece that ultimately keeps Crownshift from being a stronger album overall. There’s just so many moments when this scribe’s ears just start shouting “oooh, Devin Townsend” and the similarities hit hard. “Stellar Halo” and “Rule the Show” open the album and both feel very Townsend-esque in their theatrical elements and pristine soundscapes (particularly the latter), with vocalist Tommy Touvinen utilizing some pitches that are near deadringers.

That said, this still isn’t an album that feels like total Townsend worship either. “Mirage” opens with a gentle, very retro-melodeath vibe that harkens to an almost Gothenburg-styled bit of melody in its instrumental playfulness in all the best ways. “My Prison” turns the knobs in a more power metal-esque direction that feels fun and fresh. Then there’s the gigantic, 10-minute “To the Other Side,” which engages the listener for it’s entire runtime, full of thrashing riffs, galant melodies, and synth-driven hooks. If the band goes full speed into this particular direction, Crownshift might have something special next time around.

Top-tier musicianship that has some moments that are gems, but others that seem to fall a little short, Crownshift sit firmly in the ‘has potential’ label. If they can shed more of the SYL/Townsend-isms and trade them for some of the more unique elements that they flirted with on Crownshift, next time around could pay some huge dividends. But currently, its more of a wait and see situation rather than a full-blown endorsement. But for those that enjoy any of the acts mentioned, it’s worth at least a glance to see if it fits your preferences.

Crownshift official website
Crownshift on Facebook

Leave A Comment