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.