Finals are over. I don't think I did too well but I don't think I did too poorly either. Now it's back to the job search and blogging. I promise I'll get to my inbox soon! There's so much I want to cover though.
I saw French act Svart Crown last year with Ulcerate and Tombs in Philly. I wasn't disappointed in them, but more the lack of audience for their bending, very French sounding style of black/death metal. I briefly listened to Witnessing The Fall and Ages Of Decay after seeing them, but both were fleeting enjoyments.
Profane, their 2013 release, has more staying power. I'm sitting here trying to compare the albums as I write this and while the production is the most noticeable step-up, the songwriting is more coherent and direct. It still plays to their strengths - atmospheric black/death sounds with small nods to atonal songwriting thrown in. This should leave fans satiated and those who were hoping for Svart Crown to transcend the French scene a bit disappointed.
That hope is inane. Svart Crown's sound has long been somewhat independent of the long developed French scene and they've been developing their varied take on black/death metal in a different way. While I'm sure some people point to their previous tour mates Ulcerate and Tombs, or to the rising 'occult' black/death metal scene as obvious extraterritorial influences, and while elements of their sound exist in Svart Crown's music, it's hardly derivative. "Genesis Architect" and "Until the Last Breath" are good examples of these elements cropping up but maintaining their own identity.
There are some leads and phrases on Profane that are magnificent. The title track in particular is enthralling with its dynamic. Svart Crown love their harmonics too, and usually black/death suffers from piss-poor rhythm, but not here. Drum fills are captivating and at parts overshadow the guitarwork. The bass is pretty nonexistent though. Svart Crown also have this odd obsession with triplets which pop up periodically throughout the album, and have also been present on their previous releases.
All in all Profane is a solid outing by a band that is consistently overlooked, but their niche keeps them that way.
7.75 out of 10
1. Manifestatio Symptoms
2. Genesis Architect
3. Intern. Virus. Human
4. In Utero: A Place of Hatred and Threat
5. Until the Last Breath
7. The Therapy of Flesh
8. Venomous Ritual
9. Ascetic Purification
10. Revelation: Down Here Stillborn
Listen // Buy