Band: Crowned in Earth
Label: Sonic Mermaid Records (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
I guess they call it Retro-Rock because it has a distinct musical reference to the early days of Progressive Rock. It may be anything from the make-up of the instruments to the compositional style but whatever it is there is certainly a recognizable vibe created. Thatís the feeling I get listening to the music of Crowned in Earth. The bandís mastermind is Kevin Lawry, perhaps better known for his work in the Doom Metal genre, however with this band and these players he gets to try his hand at music that is slightly more up-beat. The doomy elements are still hinted at but clearly take a backseat providing more of a subtle foundation for the music, on top of which are layers of organs, Mellotrons and blues-styled guitar riffs. To my ear this is music that goes back to the early seventies mixing elements of early Pink Floyd and Deep Purple with other groups like Cresida. The compositions are mostly longer with the album closing epic ďTravelling RoadĒ [16:27] and as such songs usually start off with big crashing chords that morph into more psych-inspired territory. Songs offer musical change-ups all over the place sliding from one musical riff to the next. The overriding mood is heavy, but heavy in that early seventies sense, not just roaring crunchy guitars, but with plenty of minor chords and downbeat riffs. So itís never overly oppressive but more haunting or plodding than anything. There are tasty saxophone parts sprinkled throughout the disc and the organ sounds are unique reminding me of the sounds heard in the music of French band Ange. While the music of Crowned in Earth is not what I usually listen to Iím constantly fascinated by the bandís musicality. Sure sometimes they may initially sound a bit non-prog, but it isnít long before the unusual arrangements and layers of Mellotrons come into play and transport me to another world. I like it and recommend the band to those who think likewise.