LABEL: Independent
RELEASE: January 19th, 2023
AUTHOR: Matthew McCune

FOR I AM KING albumcover01. Avarice
02. Liars
03. Trojans
04. Pariah
05. Barriers
06. Oblivion
07. Sinners
08. Bloodline
09. Disciples

The New Year is full of lots of fun traditions. Some folks drink champagne, some set off fireworks, some watch sports! Me, I get excited for new metalcore releases. Enchanting us with their third full-length album entitled Crown, Dutch melodic death/metalcore outfit FOR I AM KING knocks another release right out of the park. Focusing on themes revolving around the abuse of power, the nine-track record offers fans of the genre a familiar melodicism and style while also obliterating naysayers and critics.

The album ambitiously begins with the deliciously diverse Avarice. A slow, ethereal intro gradually crescendos into a thundering showcase of the speed and intensity that will follow. The energetic yet somehow also brooding track offers a nice divergence from the status quo of metalcore demanding the attention of the listener.

The track Liars follows, which is a dizzying and impressive exhibition of dynamic and rhythmic virtuosity, displayed expertly by dual guitarists Wouter Cammelbeeck and Koen Scheepens. And Trojans brings the bands symphonic influences directly to the forefront, transporting the listener to a sulking forest, effectively creating a visual and sonic landscape.

Continuing, we are greeted by a welcome break from the intensity of the previous two tracks with the technically complex Pariah. The cinematic serenade calms the mood of the albums, shifting gears momentarily before veering back into familiar territory with the syncopated and gloomy track Barriers and the fist-pumping and driving Oblivion”.

The standout track of the album is Sinners. Highlighted by its twists and turns, Sinners doesn’t give the listener the comfort of falling into the routine of the nearly five-minute track, shifting between the brutality present on earlier tracks, the somber and soothing mid-section, and the emotional shrieks of vocalist Alma Alizadeh that conclude the song.

The penultimate track Bloodlinetakes us back to intensity before a very strong closer in Disciples, tying up all the thematic elements present on the album.

If you’re looking for a new year’s release that breaks the traditional mold of metalcore, and want to have fun in the process, check out Crown, hitting streaming on Thursday January 19.