The path of Kingcrow has been one of metamorphisis, evolvling from hard and heavy band in their early years to a more progressive rock and metal act. Eidos marks their sixth album for the band, a third in a trilogy begun with 2010's Phlegethon. Another concept album Edios is about choices, consequences, dealing with regret and disillusion.
As for the Kingcrow musical approach, not much has changed from previous albums. Their progressive rock and metal is still rather dark, with moments of heaviness juxtaposed with subtleness. It's a melancholy approach at times, but not necessarily gloomy, rather more emotional and evocative. At times they remind me of a twist Porcupine Tree twisted with Riverside and maybe some Aura, with a very slight bit of levity and brightness akin to Dream Theater.
A good example of the aforementioned juxtapositioing between songs comes with Eidos, the title track, and the closing If Only. The former is an abundance of heavy riffs, razor sharp, and pervasive, excepting a momentary light breakdown after the midpoint, and so an example of an internal juxtaposition as well. Frankly, for all it's blistering riffs, I think it's the one of the worst songs here. The latter, If Only, develops from the lightness of acoustic guitar, builds with a tight vocal arrangement, symphonic keyboards, and harmonious guitar lines. Within it has a Gilmour-like solo that gives it a Floydish feel. It finishes with a dramatic crescendo of melodic riffs and soaring choral vocals. Some pretty sweet stuff.
For some other notes. For some of that levity and brightness, you can consider At The Same Pace, perhaps the most up beat song here. It has a slick groove, a notable melody, sharp, but harmonius, riffs. These lead, once again, to a quieter breakdown after the midpoint. This directs the song to it's dramatic conclusion piano over this persistent melodic rhythm. Also of note is Slow Down. At the center a breakdown for a nice vocal harmony, then a few minutes later this jazzy rock metal fusion thing. Finally of interest, touched on in the last sentence and song, something which crosses most all songs, are the vocal arrangements. Diego Marchesi generally sings clean, melodic, and smooth, yet adds much emotion to his voice. When combined with the backing vocals of his compadres, the result is a harmony that can be almost choral like. By example you can catch this within Adrift, but even more so with Open Sky, another song that blends some symphonic synths some epic guitar lines in the middle.
In the end, perhaps the question for me, and possibly for the reader, is this album as good as or better than the previous In Crescendo? I think it's the former, more a continuation than a remarkable or novel advancement for the band. Mostly, I enjoyed it, but I think it requires more than a few spins to catch some of the greater nuances.
Eidos marks another addition to Kingcrow's repitoire of mildly dark, always intriguing, melodic progressive rock with the edge of metal.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]