|Review: The Crown - Possessed 13 (Special Edition)|
|Possessed 13 (Special Edition)|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2003
Review online: June 2, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Possessed 13 (Special Edition)
Rated 3.38/5 (67.5%) (16 Votes)
I thought The Crown's last CD "Crowned In Terror" was an excellent slice of thrashy Death Metal, but I had a hard time stomaching Tomas Lindberg's screamy nattering on the vocals. So when I heard that this album featured a return of the band's former growler Johan Lindstraad, I was doubly psyched. "Possessed 13" may be the best damned album this band ever put together, and that's good, because we aren't going to get any more.
This just kills. The Crown have always been about keeping some thrashy goodness in their metal, and this album is perhaps their best synthesis of old-school Thrash with Swedish Death. In other words, this album sounds like a cross between Entombed's "Left Hand Path" and Slayer's "Reign In Blood". "Possessed 13" may not be quite as good as either of those two classics, but you get the idea. Lindstraad sounds like Tom Araya and LG Petrov were combined and given a shot of steroids, and the leadwork is precise, fast, and tasty. This album is just a solid crushing fistful of metal mayhem from the opening blast of "No Tomorrow" through the instrumental "In Memoriam" and every track in between. Here you get no filler cuts, just pedal-to-the-METAL with standout songs like the super-Slayeriffic "Face Of Destruction – Deep Hit Of Death", the even better "Deliverance", and the Entombed-ey groove of "Cold Is The Grave". Fuck, I could list every song here and go on about why they are cool as hell, but trust me. If you live for classic Slayer or Death/Thrash in general you will not want to pass up this album.
And as if the album itself was not cool enough, we get a bonus disc to boot. (If you have the special edition, that is – if the cover is white you have the regular ed which does not contain the bonus material) Usually bonus discs are filled with live cuts, alternate versions, and shitty cover songs. Not this one. "Bonus 13" is crammed with two full demos from the band's elder days, both of which are worth hearing. They don't have the gloss or technical touch of the new material, but there are some killer songs on here. Check out "Seventh Gate" and "Candles". There are some other odds and ends, plus a cover of a really obscure Bathory tune. Overall we get a bonus disc that is actually worth listening to. Hell, I'd have paid money for the bonus disc alone. Art design is excellent, and as usual the lyrics are well worth reading. In my opinion The Crown never got enough credit for writing quality lyrics.
So if you will pardon the pun, "Possessed 13" stands as perhaps The Crown's crowning achievement. And it is certainly a shame that the band that stomped out shredders like "Are You Morbid?" and "Natashead Overdrive" is calling it quits. If you are a Thrash or a Death fan you want this, trust me on this one. "Possessed 13" is worth every penny.
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