Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive album review

Dark prog metal’s brightest hopes Black Crown Initiate stretch out and slay with new album

Black Crown Initiate album cover

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For adventurous metalheads who find prog metal to either be sterile or pointlessly obtuse and inaccessible, Black Crown Initiate are a band with thrilling potential.

Their 2014 debut, The Wreckage Of Stars, was an assured and absorbing affair that doffed its cap to the first few Opeth albums while making a concerted effort to assimilate plenty of less familiar ideas into the band’s rich sonic brew.

This time round, every aspect of the BCI sound has been scrutinised and sharpened up, from For Red Cloud’s flurry of seamless switcheroos to the pitiless collage of riffs that provides the beautifully constructed Transmit To Disconnect with its core. This band’s mastery of dynamics, their refined use of quiet and contrast and the technical skill required to actually play this stuff all combine to make Selves… the perfect antidote to formulaic metal for the ADHD generation. Black Crown Initiate are progressive but still joyously metal as fuck.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.