KINGCROW – In Crescendo (2013)
The just released “In Crescendo” is the 4th album from Italy’s KINGCROW and I must admit this band slipped under my radar.
A shame, because what I heard in this CD is the best Prog / Prog Metal of the year so far.
Kingcrow’s choice of progressive music is an engaging fusion of metal and more traditional prog blending the sounds of Queensryche, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Opeth and many more resulting in an album that while reminiscent of all of those bands, actually couldn’t be confused for any of them.
More powerful than Riverside, with a stronger vocal attack than Porcupine, less extreme than Opeth, but with a Queensryche ‘Operation Mindcrime’ feel on many places, Kingcrow cover ground from heavy-symphonic, arty progressive rock and indeed prog metal.
It is a powerful mix and one hammered home through crafted arrangements, a crystal clear mix and production, stunning musical execution and, most importantly excellent songs that are both technical and extremely memorable.
Even with the majority of the eight songs on “In Crescendo” clocking in at over six minutes, it is an album that simply whizzes past through its varying atmospheres and approaches, remaining remarkably cohesive and connected throughout.
Vocally things often venture into a less emotionally charged Geoff Tate like vein, lending the more restrained passages a welcome early/mid Queesnryche feel, while the full sound packs a punch that somehow still sits just on the right side of progressive and metal, without tumbling into the standard prog-metal abyss.
Opener “Right Before” is in your face immediately after some synths welcome you aboard for the ride. The track masterfully combines bristling guitar riffs, keyboards galore, Queensryche-like vocal harmonies and a drum-led breakdown that alters the focus all the time for good effect. This is simply an awesome song in all aspects. Killer stuff.
Then they slow things down as you ease back in the chair after being thrust forward with motion and emotion. “This Ain’t Another Love Song” opens slowly like another love song, with cool keys and guitar chords, but then the speed picks up to keep with the track title. The drum solo… hope there will be an even longer one someday, is simply indescribable. You have to hear it (and loud).
Hard to pick a favorite track on an album like this, where all are almost perfect. But “Morning Rain” might be the one. Complete with epic strings, launching guitar, pumping bass and those ever present magnificent drums.
“The Hatch” finds melodic Dream Theater and Riverside colliding headlong, with a Queensrychian chorus. Add to that the lengthy, but not overlong title track “In Crescendo”, where everything from staccato barrages of guitar, acoustic guitar and vocal only passages as well as a stunningly technical prog-metal outro, and “In Crescendo” really has the ability to be all things to all progressive men and women.
Bombastic and atmospheric, reserved yet in your face, technical but restrained and challenging while being memorable, “In Crescendo” finds Kingcrow ready to join the progressive genres elites. Believe me, this combo is superb.
Sometimes it is to a band’s detriment to release an album at the start of the new year as there is the fear that some critics and fans will tend to forget about it as the year draws to a close. I don’t think Kingcrow will have any problem with this, as “In Crescendo” is that damn good and should easily be stuck in many CD & media players for ages.
Do yourself a favor, climb aboard the bandwagon and buy one of the best albums of 2013 without a doubt: the fascinating “In Crescendo”.
01. Right Before
02. This Ain’t Another Love Song
03. The Hatch
04. Morning Rain
05. The Drowning Line
06. The Glass Fortress
07. Summer ‘97
08. In Crescendo
Diego Marchesi – vocals
Diego Cafolla – guitars
Ivan Nastasi – guitars
Francesco D’Errico – bass
Cristian Della Polla – keyboards
Thundra Cafolla – drums
BUY IT !