Here at the Sleeping Village, we keep our most revered albums in....a very special place. Their time may have gone, but they are certainly not forgotten. Today's pick: one of 2018's most blatantly fun albums. Read on!
We Villagers are hardly the first to recognize that metal fans, despite corpsepaint’d convention, sometimes like having a little bit o’ fun. Representing one side of this attitude are deliberately goofy groups such as Gloryhammer and Nekrogoblikon...and on the other are bands like The Crown whose sheer joy in making music injects a palpable sense of fun, albeit minus the silliness. This is all to say that Cobra Speed Venom, despite small flaws, remains one of the most deliberately fun and exciting releases I had the pleasure of hearing during the year in question.
Since those primordial days of Ye Olde Sleeping Village, I've found myself returning to this album somewhat regularly. It's a form of comfortable escapism, if you will.
Worthy of a Village Crypt entry? You bet.
Cobra Speed Venom rips & roars with wild abandon. Riff-centric and thrashy by definition, a slickness and precision keeps everything pleasingly straightforward. When your band has become synonymous with quality death metal, you just don’t need frills. Commanding drums and omnipresent riffage--occasionally less than imaginative, but always meaty--establish forward momentum, and healthily maintains it across the course of the album. All the while, it's clear these guys are enjoying themselves. That joy is infectious. I'm frequently looking to leech some of it. Just listen to a track like "Iron Crown." Grin-inducing is...an understatement. I dunno about you, but my face is split ear-to-ear.
Thematic and sonic repetition is a minor issue, and Cobra Speed Venom is saved, in many ways, by the reduction of the final 3 tracks to the nether “bonus" region. Were they part of the tracklist proper, the album would be far too long. But as it stands, The Crown have knocked it out of the park with this one. As fun as it is hefty, Cobra Speed Venom is a delight. Highly recommended.
The Crown - Cobra Speed Venom was released March 2018 from Metal Blade Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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