Published on Monday, 01 December 2014 15:26
Album title: Gehenna [EP]
Release date: 10 October 2014
Label: Prophecy Productions/Ván Records
01. Houses Of Gehenna
02. Your Skull-Sized Kingdom
03. Escher's Stairs
04. Dead Man
A musical collaboration between two German musicians, sG (Secrets Of The Moon) and Markus Renzenbrink (Embedded), was announced just out of nowhere and their first release came to fruition soon after. It's a four track EP with a strong title, Gehenna, and, what's most important - with a stronger content than most of so called atmospheric rock/metal releases lately. The two Germans on their joint venture explore their wide tastes in rock music and the result is something otherworldly. Even though the elements the two use are not something new, but what it counts is the final output and how everything is put together. Crone did it with such an exceptional sense for composition and expression of the intense emotions delivered to the listener through haunting vocal lines and enthralling obscure melodies.
If I dig a bit deeper into this fantastic release, which is a predecessor for the forthcoming full lenght album, I can say that I'm mesmerized by the sound that is coming into my ears. Each one of the four songs brings an unique experience, it serves with some unexpected emotional coldness, backened by strong driving wall of sound and very mature and elaborated guitar job. For example in the opener "Houses Of Gehenna" when the instrumentational side goes heavy with blasting pounds of deliberate drums and squeezeing cosmic riffs, it reminds me to Irish Primordial, but yet Crone are far away from that in their essence as with a mature sense for crafting captivating, yet impressive melodies they are able to take the listener into heavenly heights. A big emphasis goes to vocals. With a perfect mix on them and undertaken by a very special effect that brings shivers and kind of a sense of desolation and coldness, thus is hard to imagine that this duo doesn't come from northern lands as it doesn't sound German at all. There's a lot to discover once you are willing to take the path delineated by Crone.
The most intricate form of artistical vision Crone shows in the rather ironically titled "Your Skull-Sized Kingdom" where the two make some interesting experiments in the field of rock/metal music. They've reached kind of an epicness and by the insertion of some dominant vintage guitars their sound reaches affinity with Led Zeppelin, just listen to the guitar lead somewhere in the middle. Those elongated vibrant riffs, dense atmosphere, distant emotive vocals can be even compared with Tiamat on some occasions, yet everything is perfectly balanced, thus offers the right dynamics. Gehenna mostly gives to the listener a very melancholic feel, it has kind of an autumnal soul, but yet it's cosy because there's always present a gentle breeze of thoroughly well paced warm melodies. The balladic "Escher's Stairs" builds up from the gently caressing acoustic guitar chords and echoing bass into reaching higly emotional peak. Gehenna closes up with rather psychedelic, but still heavy and absolutely not intrusive "Dead Man", where the presence of guest vocalist Jarboe (ex Swans), even if just briefly, makes wonders with her touch.
And there's much more, a lot more to find out and enjoy... Here and there, when some dissonant guitar lines come forth the result can resemble to Canadian metal visionaries Voivod, especially their Nothingface or Angel Rat era, but Crone after all, because of their melancholic post-rocking approach, I believe will find their listeners more in those who are into darker, obscure, introverted sounds. Even the production works in favour to that as beside bringing depth it adds kind of obscure and icy cold feeling. Crone's debut release shows a very well elaborated and unique musical vision, it's deeply melancholic, yet experimental, with surreal atmosphere and deviant taste the two have for rock music. I'm all in expectation of their debut full lenght, but since then my only words for you, dear readers, are: get this EP as soon as you can!
Review written by: T.V.