Review: Svart Crown – Wolves Among the Ashes

We already wrote about Svart Crown on DutchMetalManiac before. That was around their performance at Veghel Black Fest in Arnhem, The Netherlands in 2018. Our preview of that festival as well as our live review of it can be found here (preview) and here (live review). Back then Svart Crown was part of the tour of Carach Angren and Rotting Christ, who also performed at Veghel Black Fest. After that tour Svart Crown got some line-up issues with frontman/guitarist/vocalist JB Le Bail almost being left on his own. That difficult period became better when former drummer/vocalist Nicolas “Ranko” Muller and former guitarist/vocalist Clément Flandrois rejoined Svart Crown. That line-up was completed with the joining of bass player/vocalist Julien Negro. With that line-up Svart Crown created their new album, which was released on February the 7th. It’s titled Wolves Among the Ashes and is released via Century Media Records.

As you can read above every Svart Crown member contributed to the vocal part of Wolves Among the Ashes. Due to that, that vocal part has become one of the most impressive aspects of this album, containing a lot of variation. We’ll hear very nice, dark vocals such as in Thermageddon, Exoria and Living With the Enemy, while those songs also contain clean vocals, we’ll hear some mesmerizing clean vocals in the almost-meditative-sensing album closer Living With the Enemy, which starts with some oriental-sounding guitars supported by hypnotizing drums. Of course there are also raw, very intense vocals, that vary from grunts to screams, to be found on this album, such as in Art of Obedience and At the Altar of Beauty. In addition to that you can also hear some vocal details at some moments, such as the screamy whispers during the pretty calm, hypnotizing and relaxing start of Down To Nowhere, giving this song a dark vibe creating a perfect combination for this song’s start, which slowly builds up in a very nice, immersive way. All vocals on Wolves Among the Ashes do sound very well executed, with the vocal highlight being found in the last part of At the Altar of Beauty. Towards the end of this mainly heavily pummeling black metal song there is a very dreamy, atmospheric part flowing back again in this song’s last heavy moment with Svart Crown banging in. The scream they start this last heavy moment with, but especially the scream they end this part, and thus this song, with are very impressive.

However, Svart Crown doesn’t only deliver a lot of variation on the vocal part of Wolves Among the Ashes, they also do so on the rest of this album. I already mentioned the mainly heavily pummeling black metal song At the Altar of Beauty, with that same song also containing an atmospheric part. That atmospheric vibe can also be heard in, for example, Art of Obedience and Exoria, while these songs are also quite grooving. In these two songs the very tight and powerful combination of guitars and drums, that we’ll hear regularly on this album, can be heard very well. Aside from the mainly heavily pummeling aspect of At the Altar of Beauty and the atmospheric but grooving aspect of Art of Obedience and Exoria, I also mentioned the almost-meditative-sensing aspect of Living With the Enemy as well as the immersive aspect of Down To Nowhere before. Blessed Be the Fools also has this immersive aspect, while it also has a quite doomy vibe and builds up tension in a very impressive way.

It may be clear, Svart Crown’s Wolves Among the Ashes contains quite a lot of variation and every song of this album clearly has something of its own. However, that doesn’t mean that Wolves Among the Ashes became an album which is just a collection of different songs. Everything Svart Crown delivers on Wolves Among the Ashes connects to each other very well and flows into each other very well, especially due to the main vibe of this album. This makes Wolves Among the Ashes clearly being one piece in its entirety.

Very recommend: Wolves Among the Ashes by Svart Crown!

Here you can read our live review of Gost and Svart Crown at Stroomhuis, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, while you can read our interview with Svart Crown’s JB Le Bail and Clément Flandrois here.

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