Svart Crown - Abreaction album review

Expansive, death metal deviancy from the grim streets of Nice

Svart Crown Abreaction cover art

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Now on album four, and their first for Century Media, French metal meddlers Svart Crown have, in the past, been compared to fellow countrymen Deathspell Omega. The grinding, blink-and-you’ll-get-stabbed death metal remains, yet Abreaction is a cut, hack and slash above.

New drummer Kévin Paradis is a breathing blastbeat and Golden Sacrament’s opening riff is sickeningly thick, but it’s the journeys away from straight-up brutality that carve these tracks into the ears. JB Le Bail’s guttural vocals are riposted with regal yelling through The Pact: To The Devil His Due and Orgasmic Spiritual Ecstasy, channelling Behemoth’s Nergal. Transsubstantiation’s off-kilter singalong is made of the raw matter Cattle Decapitation have chomped for their past two records. Rotting Christ’s arcane influence creeps into the interludes and Khimba Rites’ chants, then choppier slabs of Gojira embellish album closer Nganda. As that track descends into crackling flames, Abreaction signs off as a reimagining of death metal’s greatest traits. This is pure sonic scaphism, pouring milk and honey into the genre and eating it from the inside out.

Alec Chillingworth

Alec is a longtime contributor with first-class BA Honours in English with Creative Writing, and has worked for Metal Hammer since 2014. Over the years, he's written for Noisey, Stereoboard, uDiscoverMusic, and the good ship Hammer, interviewing major bands like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tenacious D (plus some black metal bands your cool uncle might know). He's read Ulysses thrice, and it got worse each time.