NORTHERN CROWN – In The Hands Of The Betrayer (CD)
This South Florida doom metal band bring to mind the good old days of doom, which was made so popular by the likes of Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Memento Mori and heavy metal singers such as Ronnie James Dio and Rob Halford.
This five-track e.p. has many memorable choruses entwined with melancholic guitars and synthesizer passages that’ll haunt you in your darkest dreams. The atmosphere on “In The Hands Of The Betrayer” is such, it invokes memories of your childhood, times of darkness and light gone by. The vocals alone are a superb instrument here, as it comes across as another unique instrument, in that they just engulf you into the depths of depravity felt by singer Frank Serafine. It’s like he puts a strange spell over you, with his immaculately haunted vibes.
The other guys in the band too, drag you into the pits of total darkness and cold eerie feelings, yet making you feel the positivity, which graces this five-song e.p. The musicianship here is tight, and the band sounds very cohesive as a unit. The recording is okay, everyone can be heard, but I’m sure this will greatly improve on their future full-length release.
The killer cover of Candlemass’ “Crystal Ball” is a real killer, as it is done so well, and the atmosphere on this version is just as rich as the original.
If you want a cure for your chronic depression, take one listen to “In The Hands Of The Betrayer” as it is heavy metal music and doom metal done right, and which made the doom metal innovators such as Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Black Sabbath such a hit to begin with. Northern Crown is onto something very special and depressive here. [Self Released]