Sicktus : The Crown 2018. It is the same lineup that recorded ’Death Is Not Dead’ (2015), so veterans Marko Tervonen (guitars), Magnus Olsfelt (bass) and Johan Lindstrand (vocals) are all still there, with Robin Sörqvist on guitars and drummer Henrik Axelsson, who already played (part of) the drums on ‘Death Is Not Dead’ to finish the lineup.
Axelsson really has his work cut out for him on ‘Cobra Speed Venom’, because the album is pretty aptly titled. It has some old fashioned viciousness and speed. It takes until the fourth track ‘We Avenge!’ for the pace to drop a bit – and even then, the pace still isn’t slow, but turns into a grooving midtempo monster, swinging, catcht, rocking. The Crown anno 2018 pull no punches and release all kinds of hell: from catchy to tearing it up, furious and neckbreaking, it all is there on ‘Cobra Speed Venom’. You want screaming leads? Check. Catchy, instantly scream-a-long choruses? Check. Wrecking ball drums, grooving bass, ridiculously rocking and raging riffs and memorable melodies? Check, check, check and check. The best thing is: the band manage to keep the level of quality, energy, intensity and the mixture of groove, melody and rage and sheer catchiness very high throughout the entire hour-plus. That playing time by the way includes three bonus tracks, which are not available on all versions of this release, mind you. Without the bonus tracks, the playing time still is a very respectable (almost) 50 minutes.
Hell fucking yes. This is a beast of a melodic death/thrash record, oldschool venomous, spitting fire, tearing things down, breaking stuff, catchy, raging, racing, convincing, crushing. Sublimely thrashing death’n’roll. The best The Crown release since ‘Hell Is Here’ (1999), if you ask me! Head(banging) and (moshing) shoulders above the competition! Oh, one last thing: compliments for the awesome artwork. This is an album/artwork that is LP worthy. And luckily, Metal Blade think so too: they are releasing ‘Cobra Speed Venom’ on several colours of vinyl as well as CD and a couple of different special editions.