Crown Me, Destroyer

An Album By

Damien Deadson

Review by

Listen now

Ryan Helm, formerly of Demon Hunter and The Ascendicate, and his project Damien Deadson have just released their sophomore album Crown Me, Destroyer through Infamous Empire Records. The album isn’t much different in style from the band’s first release, A Warm and Dark Embrace, but what’s different with this album is the overall tone. It starts out with the relentlessness chugging of “15 Years of Hate,” and they don’t slow down for the first two-thirds of the record.

Once you reach “Black Dog,” though, the album starts to let up with more melodic and lyrically driven tracks. It makes the album in its entirety a beautiful melting pot of styles and tones. Crown Me embraces a lot of elements of metal, making it hard to categorize, but what the metal undertones do for the record as a whole is give it a uniqueness that allows it to stand out in a sea of new metal acts. These styles include black metal vocals (“The Light Bearer”), death metal brutality (“Welcome to the Void”), and the familiar metalcore riffs you’d expect from someone with as much experience in the field as Helm on tracks like “The Full Extent of Rage” and “The Fire Sent Me.”

All of the musicianship on this album is very gritty and raw, which means the vocal performance has to match in order to make a good album. Helm doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance, but the content of the lyrics becomes a little repetitious. Since the album is about hate, it makes sense for some of the tracks to center around that theme, but other than darkness, there is no new ground being covered. Overall, Crown Me, Destroyer is very technically sound, and is a fine example of metal for the masses.

For fans of Demon Hunter and Living Sacrifice.


My Epic performing their last final show before COVID-19

Between the White Noise

My Epic's last full-length album came out in 2013; despite a number of EPs along the way, the band's dedication to their craft, lyrical approach, and unyielding approach to let the music come naturally has made them critical darlings. Now, they're learning to interact and feed a rabid fanbase in between albums and in a new normal.


Full Feature
HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


Full Feature
Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."


Full Feature
Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

Full Feature
All Features