The saying too many cooks spoil the broth may aptly describe this flawed second album from Pittsburgh quintet Crown the Lost (the name comes from a Suidakra song). Then again, there are only five of them so it's not the cooks, but the ingredients at fault. Too much has obviously been crammed inside this bloated offering of theirs titled Blind Faith Loyalty, thereby spoiling a ten song entrée which could've been among this year's brightest releases. Now hold on cowboy, this can't be all bad, right? How can epic vocals matched with thrash metal precision (think along the lines of Mercenary or Communic) not sound awesome?
Alright, alright, there are indeed many great songs here;'Defame The Hypocrites,' 'Drawing The Parallel,' 'Dreaming In Reverse,' 'Impose Your Will' are blessed with furious guitar duels from the Joe Bonnadio and David Gehlke duo plus the most intelligent lyrics on the eastern seaboard. To top it all off, Crown the Lost have Chris Renaldi for a singer. The guy's barely out of his teens but he's shaping up to become a vocalist who could easily give either Matt Barlow or Warrel Dane a run for their money. So how is it possible for this to suck then?
Nah, Blind Faith Loyalty doesn't suck; it's just not memorable. The songs here have the bad habit of sounding like each other; blame the riffs, blame Renaldi's repetitive vocal range, blame the robotic melodies, endless guitar duels, and recycled arrangements. Crown the Lost may indeed be packed with potential unfortunately they failed to write the sort of 'hits' that hungry crowds will gobble up with horns raised high. Not even hoarse screams (to contrast the clean singing, you see), metalcore breakdowns, and King Diamond wails from Renaldi fail to uplift the dreariness pervading such clunkers as 'Privation' or 'Bound To Wrath.'
Nevertheless, despite its warts, Crown The Lost know how they want to sound: they just haven't realized their vision yet. For metalheads hungry for an alternative to the dearth of deathcore bands sprouting like mushrooms across the USA, Crown The Lost are a bright shining light. They're chosen ones, Knights Templar of the metal crusade—whatever. Kind oflike the blindfolded angel on their cover, this album could have been heavy metal salvation for many except it wasn't sure which way to go.
Despite its warts, Crown The Lost know how they want to sound: they just haven't realized their vision yet. For metalheads hungry for an alternative to the dearth of deathcore bands sprouting like mushrooms across the USA, Crown The Lost are a bright shining light.
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