Crowned By Fire: here's another American heavy metal band kickin' back their brewskis old school. The band was formed in 2006 by vocalist John Fitterer, a tattoo artist in California, and guitarist Justin Manning, the former guitar tech and personal assistant to Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy, if you don't know). For their debut disc of heavy metal, Prone to Destroy, the operative word is 'heavy,' and more heaviness, ad infinitum.
Above, Crowned By Fire: vocalist John Fitterer, center, explores the inside of his eyelids; others are simply pissed off.
Crowned By Fire essentially takes the heaviness of Sabbath, stirs in the plodding of Kyuss and the crushing ferocity of Pantera, and weights it in all down with anvil. Prone to Destroy is a steamroller of bombastic riffage enlivened only by Manning's pyrotechnics (and you might hear more than a few similarities to Wylde). You get a slight respite from the intense heaviness, sometimes, as within Black Moon Shine, which moves with some acoustic guitar, and a tad flavor of blues. But the intensity creeps back in rather quickly.
Generally that intensity is ubiquitous. Spit on Your Curse, Witch in the Window, Get Under the Dirt, and Shake the Bag, by example, are monstrous and formidable pieces of heavier, kickass, metal. Later, Crowned By Fire offers a pleasant change up: giving more speed to the metal on I Am the Crime.
Considering their heavy bombastic splendor, I'm not sure it would be safe to listen to Crowned By Fire in a club, certainly not a small one, because the building might collapse, the walls folding in upon themselves. But you probably wouldn't notice this catastrophe because your legs would probably be wobbling, your ears stone deaf, and your brain pudding.
But as much as CbF offers the rumbling heaviness of an M1 Abrams tank plowing through the Iraqi desert, it's likely, at the end of your listening experience, that's all you will notice or conclude from this album. In this sense, Crowned By Fire's Prone to Destroy, to some, may be simply an exercise in repetition. Nevertheless, it's still worth checking out, especially if you like your metal heavier than lead.
Crowned By Fire's Prone to Destroy is simply an exercise in gargantuan and bombastic heavier metal. It's the five-hundred pound gorilla riding a steamroller through the six inches between your ears.
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