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Crone - Godspeed (2018) - Review

Band: Crone
Album title: Godspeed
Release date: 13 April 2018
Label: Prophecy Productions

01. Lucifer Valentine
02. The Ptilonist
03. Mother Crone
04. The Perfect Army
05. Leviathan’s Lifework
06. H
07. Demmin
08. Godspeed

Show me the end of the world
There’s no one, there’s nobody here...

Almost four years have passed since this amazing band from Germany released their debut EP named Gehenna, and yes, even though that I was expecting it earlier it's never too late to listen and feel such a beauty. Godspeed is Crone's debut full-length and it's an album that makes you think and feel, their songs make you feel a thought for real. This is the music that has so much depth and not only that, also from the technical point it's just mesmerizing. Godspeed is a conceptual album inspired by real life tragedies and mysterious events, quite a heavy subject that comes with heavily emotional charged music. It's also nothing strange that Prophechy Productions, a label which constantly offers some of the most interesting dark/heavy/rock/experimental... music out there, didn't hesitate to sign this band four years ago.

Crone is a dark rock band that was formed by vocalist/guitarist Phil "sG" Jonas, better known as Secrets Of The Moon mastermind, and drummer Markus Renzenbrink (Embedded), now the two are accompanied by Pascal Heemann on guitars/backing vocals and Daniel Meier on bass/backing vocals, plus Job "Phenex" Bos who played the keyboards/organs on this album. Even if the band astonished most of those who heard their first EP it passed by rather unnoticeably by most of people who might like their exceptional take on authentic alternative rock music with dark melancholic edge, and now it's the right time to repair this...

Godspeed offers eight very intriguing and staggering tracks that take the listener on eight individual journeys into darkness, these are the tales that talk about real persons that met an untimely demise. Like it's the character of lyrics, also the music of Crone is a tempting one for dark souls, it's not that morose and it has many twists and elements that you wouldn't expect to hear. Guitars are just fantastic throughout the entire record, from gritty heavy crushing to some dissonant and soul consuming melodic riffs, and these riffs owe a lot to the 70s and early 80s hard rock and heavy metal tradition, yet they are contemporary. There are plenty of amazing guitar leads which will for sure satisfy also the most demanding listeners and some acoustic lines to ease up the mood a bit. Yet the music many times crosses the borders of psychedelic, progressive, post-rock, alternative and sometimes also art rock, while constantly mantaining kind of a melancholic dark character.

Strong, sometimes rather doomish and thick rhythmic lines perfectly converge with rather distant, raspy and emotive vocals of sG who with his voice brings shivers down the spine. He knows how to keep kind of a suspense with kind of a sense of desolation and coldness. The base of Crone music is typical heavy rock driven one with no need of expansive keys, but when they appear it certainly deepens the whole atmosphere in a big way, like is for example the symphonic addition in the strong piece "H", which pays homage to Peg Entwistle who jumped to her death from the H letter of the Hollywood sign in California at the age of 24. Most of the tracks have additions that make them pretty dramatic and cinematic, like for example "The Ptilonist", "The Perfect Army", "Demmin", "H" or the amazing epic album titled closer to name a few.

All of the compositions are highly dynamic, captivating, as well immersive, but the first two proper tracks after the psychotic dark intro are the ones that will consume you first, both are masterpieces and certainly top notch creations that will get under your skin in an instant; the driving heavy melancholic "The Ptilonist" and the heart rending semi-ballad "Mother Crone", inspired by the event from 1954 when the five year old girl Marilyn DeMont jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, commanded by her father who dived into the abyss right after her, the track has such a catchy melody and kind of irresistible sing along chorus. No need to say that because of the certain complexity and many layers hidden in most of the tracks the music of Crone needs a couple of listens to grew properly on you, just listen for example to "Leviathan’s Lifework" or to before mentioned closing one "Godspeed" and you'll get my point.

Crone's debut album offers a lot, the right amount of heaviness, melancholy, emotions and atmosphere are simply in a perfect harmony to give a very enthraling listening experience, but contrary to most of other bands who concentrate only on this, Crone does it with style by making technically perfective music that is bleak but not consumed by darkness. Crone's music is quite unique and will not only appeal to fans of dark rock and bands like Katatonia, Sólstafir, Tiamat, 1476, Whispers In The Shadow or Aeon Sable, it might get attention also from those who like acts such as Opeth, Crippled Black Phoenix, Voivod (era Angel Rat), Ghost, as well those into old school rock like Deep Purple, Rainbow or Led Zeppelin, alternative rock in the vein of Alice In Chains, or atmospheric art rock of Pink Floyd, should give it a spin because I'm almost sure that you'll find something for yourself in here. It's almost impossible to properly describe this cathartic marriage of alternative rock energy and hard rock grit with words, but all I can say in the end is that for me this is one of the best albums released so far this year.

By the edge of the world
We will dive into the night

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10