Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Shackles for a Crown - Demo 2013

Shackles for a Crown is a relatively new band from The Netherlands. Shrouded in mystery this anonymous band (or possibly man) plays a chaotic form of black metal. This demo, consisting of three songs, is an excellent opening statement made by this young project.

The frenzy is immediate, the first track "You'll Die" starts with a savage and layered riff. Multiple guitar parts are utilized simultaneously creating a thick sound. While the lead part is punishing there are also other guitar lines lurking in the background, giving the record a frantic and complex feeling. The vocals are harsh growling rasps barked forth commandingly, at times they are reminiscent of the warped Atilla Csihar, not quite as demented but still containing a certain type of mania that is lacking on so many records. The second track "Mental Retribution" starts with a haunting guitar sequence, dissonance is vital to the record, chords bounce off one another creating a sound similar to the French masters of atonal dissonance, Deathspell Omega. Shackles for a Crown is no mere clone however, riffs snake moving subtly through different melodies. This track also utilizes a restrained passage, building tension through repetition before bursting into a full on aural assault.

Tension is created once again on the last track, "Loathe". Starting with eerie guitar played over heavy drones, anticipation built. Suddenly the track blasts forward at unreal speeds.  Ferociously played, teetering on the edge of insanity. The focus is on velocity, but through the rapid fire riffs beautiful harmonies can be made out, gracing the savagery as they clammer to be heard above the chaos. The track provides a flawless mixture of ominous elegance and straightforward, ripping black metal.

By combining fury and restraint Shackles for a Crown have created a stunning first impression. This demo was self released and unfortunately the cassettes are sold out. Word is that a CD of this material is coming and you can stream and download it as of now from bandcamp. This band has the makings of true greatness, I suspect their name will be known soon enough.

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