I’ll just get this out of the way before we go any further with the new album from Black Crown Initiate – this band has some seriously impressive beards on display. Right, got that out of the way, now onto their full-length debut, The Wreckage Of Stars, a fantastic slab of granite-heavy, droning, progressive death metal.

Following on from the four track debut EP, Song Of The Crippled Bull, The Wreckage Of Stars sees the progressive quintet takes that blueprint and move into to the next stage. Mixing up blast beats with droning, dirgy, sludgy riffs one minute before unleashing barrages of furious riffing with guttural death metal vocals the next, the freedom the band have been afforded on their debut album is certainly allowing them to spread their wings. “Malignant,” for example, is seven and a half minutes crammed full of brutal death metal drumming, stuttering guitars riffs and gut-busting vocals, but still allows for plenty of melodies, clean vocals, and intricate progressive sections. It is quite simply breathtaking to listen to. The title track, on the other hand, sees the band move in more tempered, morose waters – still brutally heavy, but showing the group know to reign in their brutality when required.

Song Of The Crippled Bull and the initial shows that surrounded the release of that EP certainly gave the world a taste of what these progressive brutalists could do. As you listen to the material on The Wreckage Of Stars, for example “Shapes Collapse,” you’ll find yourself listening to a band who have found their footing and, even at this early stage in their career, are showing the world what a special band they are becoming.

Track Listing:

01. Great Mistake
02. The Fractured One
03. Malignant
04. The Human Lie Manifest
05. Withering Waves
06. To The Eye That Leads You
07. The Wreckage Of Stars
08. Shapes Collapse
09. Purge
10. Linear

Run Time: 52:47
Release Date: September 30, 2014

Check out the song “Withering Waves”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.