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Review: Crom - Of Love and Death
Of Love and Death

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 45:21
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 28, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.81/5 (76.13%) (31 Votes)

This is an album I have been waiting for so eagerly I almost couldn't stand it. Knowing the recording was finished like 8 months ago did not help me to be patient either. Walter Grosse pretty much blew me away with his debut Crom album Vengeance back in 2008, and samples I heard indicated this would be a similarly awesome disc.

It is, it's just really, really different from Vengeance. Apparently Grosse didn't like being called "Viking Metal" and so set out to make an album that features all his songwriting genius and riff-wizardry, but completely eschewed the themes of fantasy and myth that pervaded Vengeance. This is, instead, a brooding album about love and loss, with an almost Doom-like atmosphere.

Lyrical differences aside, this is an album fully as powerful as I expected, and better than I even hoped for. Every damned song on here has beautiful, haunting melodies complemented by Grosse's beautiful vocals and clean, lyrical guitarwork. Opener "Reason To Live" is about the most uptempo song here, with a lilting and addictive riff and singable chorus. The tone of the album is really set when "Lifetime" opens with the line "I saw you die". It is a defining feature of this work that the songs manage to be both bleak and uplifting at the same time, mixing lyrics about loss and suicide with soaring melodies. I'd list standouts, but every song here is first-rate, with moments of absolutely stunning beauty. "My Destiny" is an especially strong song, and the closer is a reworking of the title song from The Fallen Beauty – which needed it, as the production on that EP was severely lacking – and it is a really powerful, epic song to close on.

So this is not what I expected from Crom, as this moves away from the mythic themes and Bathory-style riffage and into more delicate, introspective country. I cannot, however, argue with results, and the quality of composition and depth of emotion make this a stellar album by any measure.

More about Crom...
Review: Of Love and Death (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Vengeance (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Review: Vengeance (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: When Northmen Die (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: When Northmen Die (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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