No Reprieve
A Way Out of Madness


I ain’t gonna lie: these guys sound like Nevermore. Then again, so does Eidolon, and that band doesn’t seem to catch flak for it. Sounding like another band can be both bad and good – bad in that it’s unoriginal, but good in that it can sound like something (else) good. I like Nevermore, and with that understanding, let’s continue.

It surprises me that anyone sounds like Nevermore. That’s a tough target to hit. But these vocals are amazingly Warrel Dane-esque and the spiky, fast runs on guitar are pure Jeff Loomis. Overall, the sound is melodic thrash updated with modern speeds and blastbeats. The drumming is energetic, and the guitars are wickedly shredding. Even the most air-guitar-challenged will reconsider here.

My only gripe is how harmonically conservative the songs are. They stay in the same standard scales and chord progressions, leading to a lack of tension and release. Nevermore’s core sound is the same, but it adds depth with dissonance and alternate tonalities. In fact, on Nevermore’s last album, Dane sang over some downright challenging harmonic settings.

This isn’t anything time can’t fix, though. Most bands don’t write first albums this strong, let alone reach this level of technical proficiency. Crown the Lost obviously have skills, so I’m excited to hear them apply them more adventurously in the future. In the meantime, you can pick up this CD directly from the band.