THE CROWN
"Doomsday King"

(Century Media)

01. Doomsday King
02. Angel Of Death 1839
03. Age Of Iron
04. The Tempter And The Bible Black
05. Soul Slasher
06. Blood O.D
07. Through Eyes Of Oblivion
08. Desolation Domain
09. From The Ashes I Shall Return
10. He Who Rises In Might- From Darkness to Light

RATING: 8.5/10

Did you really think they'd stay away for good? THE CROWN's decision to split up after 2003's "Possessed 13" due to fatigue with the trials and tribulations that come with life as a touring extreme metal band left fans heartbroken, to say the least. Facing facts, for as revered as THE CROWN was by critics and fans, there weren't enough of the latter to financially sustain the Swedish act's existence. If you were one of those unlucky enough to have missed the expertly penned, calamitous death/thrash of THE CROWN, then you've got some catching up to do and "Doomsday King" is one hell of a place to start. This is the height of badassery…period!

"Doomsday King" is no half hearted attempt at writing a comeback album; it is an album on which THE CROWN leaves no prisoners breathing. You'll be damned if you don't recognize "Doomsday King" as the epitome of THE CROWN sound, one that is delivered with the kind of fresh ferociousness akin to a hungry, wild-eyed group of youngsters releasing years of pent up aggression on a debut disc. Every track is a memorable raging inferno of heavy thrash riffing and death metal intensity. When that first menacing riff blackens the sun, that vibrato sends a shiver up the spine, and that ominous bell clangs, the anticipation of what's to come is powerful enough to put down a bull elephant. And then it hits! That familiar raggedy riff and racing pace announces to the world that "We're back, motherfuckers!" From that point forward the rampage is unstoppable. Even the mid-tempo, hot as hell grooves of standout "The Tempter and the Bible Black" is less a reprieve, than an opportunity to prolong the pain of immolation. This sucker is packed with the good stuff, including a pair of tracks in "Angel of Death 1839" and "Blood O.D." that sever limbs with SLAYER-esque licks and crack skulls with that dependably battering rhythm section. And we've barely even scratched the surface.

"But what about the absence of vocalist Johan Lindstrom," you say? What about it? If you loved the imprint he made on THE CROWN sound, then you'll equally love the damage done by new throat Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE). His deathly approach fits like hand-in-glove with the rest of the racket made by guitarists Marko Tervonen and Marcus Sunesson, bassist Magnus Olsfelt, and drummer Janne Saarenpää. "Doomsday King" is that rare return to form that boils over with raw energy. Count this one as an immediate contender for placement on the year-end lists of critics across the globe. Get it. Get it now!

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