F U L L . R E V I E W S
One is always glad to hear that metal's eternal verities-—melody, riffs, dueling guitars, epic vocals, gallops—-still have a place in the hearts and minds of newer bands. For their second magnum opus "Blind Faith Loyalty" Pittsburgh natives Crown The Lost peddle a broader, even progressive selection of songs combining the intense stuff with vocal wunderkind Chris Renaldi's awesome pipes, which can sound either emotional or intense, able to execute Rob Halford falsettos and King Diamond shrieks with nary a sign of conscious effort.
Opening with a solo from axeman Joe Bonaddio at the start of "Defame The Hypocrites," the band quickly get into gear for their peculiar take on modern thrash metal. No matter how close they are to being in the same mold as Into Eternity, Nevermore, Bruce Dickinson's solo material, In Flames, Communic, and Mercenary--Crown The Lost insist they play straight edge thrash. Odd perhaps, yet Crown The Lost know this early in their careers that the band's success rests on intelligent music built around singer Renaldi's abilities. There are a few raw growls too to contrast the clean, but they barely make any difference. Consider this one of the album's few wrinkles.
Not letting their momentum flag past a strong opener, "Drawing The Parallel" marries the band's heightened aggression with—again—Mr. Renaldi's soaring vocals. This 20 year old's singing is so impressive, being somewhere along the lines of Bruce Dickinson (mostly Dickinson), Geoff Tate, and Jon Oliva, that it carries the whole album forward. That's not to say his voice eclipses the relentless music on such tracks as "Bound To Wrath," "Finality," "Dreaming In reverse," and "Impose Your Will."
While they do have a harder edge, Crown The Lost's sense of melody never wanes, thanks to rhythm guitarist David E Gehlke's ear for fluid song-craft. None of the members are slouches in the musicianship department either. Joe Bonnadio is a serious shredder in the vein of Marty Friedman and John Petrucci while Kevin Antonacci and Shaun Gunter (drums and bass, respectively), do a stellar job in executing each song's subtle complexities. With "Blind Faith Loyalty" out for a month now, metalheads should seriously give Crown The Lost some much-deserved attention. Having laid the groundwork for an exciting future, fans are left to pray they aren't swallowed and regurgitated by the rigors of the music business.
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