Ah the first album review of the year. Feels good doesn’t it, or at least it should. You rockers know I’m legit and honest in my reviews, unlike other sites that’ll give everything high praise for clicks. Sure I was excited to indulge in The Crown Remnant’s newest album The Wicked King: Part II but it left me a bit disappointed and not wanting to go back to listen to its predecessor.
Sure The Crown Remnant are a young band but I’ve heard debut albums that are better. This is their second album and the mix on it is horrendous. The vocals and instruments are all at the exact same levels battling for your attention like children on the first day of kindergarten. You want to be able to pay attention to all but you can’t. The only time anything stands out is when the others are minimal or completely gone.
The only thing that stands out is the musicianship of guitarist Will Ash who sounds like a seasoned veteran. The lead in solo on “Legacy” sounds and feels like a riff that’s been around for years yet it’s still being introduced to our ears. It also makes this song one of the few good ones on The Wicked King: Part II as it’s the first real sense of Geordy Shallan’s vocals. His harmony with the guitar again makes your almost forget the youth of the band. If the mix was cleaner and drums for brought down a notch I could easily see this being the song to make them as it’s haunting vibe shows influence from Avenged Sevenfold.
The only other saving grace of the album besides the single “Inferno” is the album closer “The Wicked King”. This song is almost like taking Dream Theater and injecting it with an Alex Rodriguez size dose of steroids. It’s still a victim of the poor mix quality but it’s melodic and heavy without anything being forced. Shallan’s aggressive vocals are just within comprehension so that you don’t sit there going “what’s he saying?” and miss the rest of the song. This is THE song The Crown Remnant should use as their guideline going forward as a band.
In the end The Wicked King: Part II is your typical second album from a band, more low points then high. While the high points aren’t high enough to make me want to go back to their first album they are high enough where I’ll keep The Crown Remnant on my radar for the future when these princes of metal might become kings.