When Pennsylvania progressive death metal newcomers Black Crown Initiate burst on to the scene with their full-length debut, The Wreckage Of Stars, back in 2014, the extreme metal scene immediately sat up and took notice. An album that demonstrated how special this band were, it’s now 2016 and, while the guys haven’t quite hit the heady heights everyone expected them to, their returning release, Selves We Cannot Forgive, is going to go a large way to rectifying that.

Building their expansive sound around punishing death metal, Black Crown Initiate give you something to really get your chops into on their latest offering. As much in common with bands like Meshuggah as they do with prog-rock heavyweights like Tool, the group pepper their pummelling onslaught with an equally dark lyrical direction. Exploring social, political and personal subject matter, Black Crown Initiate effortlessly drill home their powerful message on tracks like “Belie The Machine” and the jarring “Transmit To Disconnect” whereas a song like “Matriach” shows the more intelligent, thoughtful side to their personality as they flit between soothing, jazz-inspired passages and thudding brutality.

If you’re new to the band, expect their powerful, complex sound to stretch your attention span to its very limit and, even then, plan to submerge yourself fully into this album on more than one occasion if you’re to truly appreciate the beauty of this piece of work.

Selves We Cannot Forgive is an intelligently-crafted recording. Extreme metal fans will have heard many bands trying to expand the genre into something more than blood and guts brutality, but very few manage it with such ease as Black Crown Initiate do on their latest offering.

Selves We Cannot Forgive Track Listing:

01. For Red Cloud
02. Sorrowpsalm
03. Again
04. Belie The Machine
05. Selves We Cannot Forgive
06. Transmit To Disconnect
07. Matriarch
08. Vicious Lives

Run Time: 51:28
Release Date: July 22, 2016

Check out the video for “Selves We Cannot Forgive”

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.