The first test of the waters from a new project featuring recognizable members of other bands is often frustratingly over thought. Between outsider sub-genre takes to uninspired debuts playing too deeply into cliches the average peruser of the ‘Used Metal’ bins at the record store is generally the only beneficiary of ‘supergroups’ or fusions of ex-members of fame. In the case of Swedish blackened melodic death metal band Night Crowned avoid a convoluted starting point but perhaps go about it in an all too typical fashion. Rooted in post-2000 ‘modern’ melodic death metal style, their debut EP ‘Humanity Will Echo Out’ appears to aim for a mix of melodic black/death metal yet they achieve a sound far too close to that of their former projects.
Featuring key members from Cipher System and ex-members of Nightrage, The Crown, as well as the current drummer for Dark Funeral, Evocation, and Imperium you should already have a good idea of what they sound like on this EP. Think along the lines of Omnium Gatherum circa 2011 with a little bit of ‘peak’ Dimmu Borgir thrown in to offend the senses; It reads a lot like a later Naglfar record with some light keyboards popping up here and there. The bounding spirit of Gothenburg guides the melodic intent of Night Crowned but never into any cathartic space; Instead the tone of ‘Humanity Will Echo Out’ is performative and pompous, almost post-black metal inspired in the finer details with a late 90’s melodic black metal excess filling in the blanks.
Is it just blackened Cipher System? Actually, it kind of is at this point of germination and I don’t consider that a bad thing at all. Curly logos and all that only slightly suggest that Night Crowned‘s approach is less modern than it actually is, but if you were on board for Necrophobic for their last few records this EP will bring similar qualities and songwriting up to bat. Moderately recommended with “Nocturnal Pulse” as the suggested track to preview.
Embark upon plagued shores. 3.5/5.0
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