Artist: Crone of War
Album: Beneath Grey Skies
Release Date: May 7th, 2016
Label: Self Release
Progressive metal is a wide term to talk about a band’s music nowadays as genre definitions and borders become blurry with each release. Is Cynic progressive? Is Dream Theater? Is Ayreon? Gojira? Well, Crone of War’s Beneath Grey Skies is another one of those albums that will make you ask this same question one more time.
If this was the 1990’s, we would call Beneath Grey Skies thrash metal and paste a sticker on the jewel case, saying “for fans of Sepultura and Pantera, mostly Pantera” and be done with the definition game. Do not be alarmed, I will not do that and end this review as there is much to be told. Of course, the initial sensation of thrash metal will be your first welcome sign to Beneath Grey Skies. Craig Moggy’s singing style resembles the infamous Phil Anselmo. Forget his declarations though, focus on his style. Sepultura part of things come with certain rhythm arrangements, although as I said earlier, Pantera will be the main comparison.
The guitar sound is probably the second reason for this resemblance. Old-school thrash vibe is all over the place with the somewhat crunchy, high pitched sound. Nowadays, it is all about down-tuning the guitars all the way to the core of the planet with 7, 8 string guitars and to be truthful, Crone of War’s “old” sound is a fresh treat to my ears. The editing of the album is done in style as well as you do not hear over edited, epic tight drum sequences which pretty much dulls the sound *throws a hard, mean look at European metal market*. Instrumentation is pleasing to the ears. There are no epic guitar shows or Marco Minnemann level mind blowing drumming but neither the ear, nor the genre needs it here anyway. It is about the energy of the songs and they flow through nice.
I am not sure if this sound and genre would carry the band to fame and fortune but if you are one of those guys / gals who miss the venue-breather thrash metal with beers at hand, this is probably the type of music to be played. Well, a bill with Testament, Overkill and Crone of War would be an awesome neck-breaker evening.
All in all, if you like southern thrash, this is a nice piece of work. My two criticisms would be the lack of total variety in songs which may cause you to feel lost and wonder what track you are listening to. The second one is the progressive metal tag of the band which I am not sure if it fits the bill. Good work people. The two videos at the bottom of this review are good showcase tracks. Also, you can check the opener, “Betrayal” which pretty much sums up the general sound.
Oh, one final thing: As I say this to all bands; have a website. Do not rely on social media sites. No, it is not enough only to have a Facebook page and whoever tells you that is wrong. Go ask marketing gurus like Michael Hyatt or Jeff Walker if you are unsure.
Craig Moggy – Vocals/Bass
Joe Greco – Guitar
Dylan Nantais – Percussion