|Review: Crom - Vengeance|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: October 23, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Out of nowhere this guy Crom, former guitar player for Black Metal stalwarts Dark Fortress, has produced one of the best albums of the year. A lot of bands are driven to imitate Bathory, but I don't think I have ever heard Quorthon's later sound done so well, or progressed on so impressively.
Crom builds his monoliths on a foundation of big, sweeping, epic riffs that are within a hair of being as good as Bathory riffs, some of them are just as good, some of them are better. The production is really first-rate, with a lot of clarity, depth, and space. The rhythm guitars are big and booming, and some of the lead work is breathtakingly tasty. Crom shines especially bright in the vocal department, as his clear, powerful, evocative tones are light years beyond what most clean-singing Viking metallers can manage on their best day. Opener "Wings Of Fire" is okay, if not the best song on here. But with "The Restless King" Crom shows off what he is capable of, as well as on similar war-marches as "Vengeance Part II", "Unchain The Hero" and "Hammer Of The Gods". "The Stars Will Fall" starts off with a too-long narrative segment that is totally redeemed by rocking like a motherfucker once it gets started. One of the finest moments here is the all-acoustic ballad "Crom", with delicate melodies, moving lyrics, and some of the best vocal work on the album.
I knew nothing about this band before I heard this, but one spin made me a convert. Powerful, headbanging, epic Viking metal that picks up where Nordland left off, Vengeance is an essential album this year, absofuckinglutely essential.
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