2020 Best of Metal: #9 Black Crown Initiate-Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

Release date: August 7, 2020

Origin: Reading, Pennsylvania

Personnel: James Dorton-vox, Andy Thomas-guitar/clean vox, Ethan McKenna-guitar, Nick Shaw-bass, Gabe Seeber-drums (session)

These guys have been at the forefront of setting the standard for technical death metal. They have also been one of the bands that has helped establish Reading, PA as a metal hotspot. The great thing about these guys is that they don’t let the technical aspects of their playing overshadow the songs themselves. It feels as though everything they do is in service of creating an outstanding song instead of just using the song as a vehicle to showcase the technicality of their playing. It’s a fine line and one in which a lot of bands in this genre fail to grasp. This latest album came out of a dark time personally for the band members and was made during a period when the future of the band was actually in doubt. I think we’re lucky to even have this album. All the more reason to cherish this one.

4 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:
9. Black Crown Initiate-Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape
10. Haken-Virus
11. Fake Names-Fake Names
12. Kvelertak-Splid
13. King Buffalo-Dead Star
14. Sylosis-Cycle of Suffering
15. Kirk Windstein-Dream in Motion
16. Oranssi Pazuzu-Mestarin Kynsi
17. Forming the Void-Reverie
18. Lamb of God-Lamb of God
19. Demons and Wizards-III
20. Killer Be Killed-Reluctant Hero

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