Sitting somewhere between post hardcore and melodic metalcore, Crown Cardinals is a force on the rise. The proof comes with their impressive new release, the Born Old Die Young EP, a riotous burst of creative energy which leaves no doubt as to the promise of the band. The five track EP is a skilled amalgam of influences and sounds turned into something which inspires and excites as it barracks and bruises to leave one happily satisfied in the now and full of anticipation for the future.
Formed in 2010, The French quintet grew from the union of members from Normandy bands The Hollywood Drive, Auta, South Of The Border, and Manhattan Cabaret. It was not long before Crown Cardinals were lighting up stages and accumulating ardent fans in their wake, the playing alongside bands likes Cross Damage and While She Sleeps only adding to their growing fan base. The Born Old Die Young EP is the next step and destined to be the entry point for many more new passionate ears to the Crown Cardinals.
The title track opens up proceedings with a gentle beckoning from guitar and keys, their atmospheric call warm and shimmering with no hint of the intensity to follow. Intrusive riffs soon slash across the calm before the band explodes into a raging torrent of explosive energy and predatory intent. From caustic growls the vocals turn into emotive clean squalls, both aspects entwining throughout to marvellous effect within the thumping and formidable assault. The song is not all about aggression though, its journey smoothly moving within passionate melodic whispers and boiling melodic sonic eruptions. The guitar play of Mickael Doublet and Jean-Baptiste Gimay is openly striking, their invention leaving the ear on the cusp of adulation throughout whilst the vocals of Max Rodriguez Medallo offer an equally impressive and rewarding presence to greedily consume. It is a crushing and glorious start which arguably is the fullest highlight on the release though the following tracks show no less ability and endeavour to challenge.
Fooling Me Was The Worst Idea Ever takes no time in making is presence a corruptive one, the track blistering the ear with crippling riffs and hungry melodic teasing. The rhythms of Romain Vannier are controlled but with a rabid energy to leave their mark as they thrust the song straight to the core of the senses like an artillery strike. The track is a constant rampage which makes it hard to turn away from even if one wanted to. Though the song lights the skies with showers of flaming melodic enterprise and sparking beats throughout, there is a prowling entity in the bass of Lucas Geffroy which keeps a depth and menace at play to give a balance to it all which should not be underestimated. At times his presence is swamped but he is always the shadow which ensures the intensity is grounded.
A toy box melody sound tracking a news description of zombies opens up This New Plague. It is borderline as to how well it works but once into its stride the track itself is nothing but excellent aural venom for the senses. The track is the most destructive on the release, a more straight forward metalcore assault though the sharp melodic manipulations are not left in their box. The track is nasty in the best way and leaves the ear grinning broadly whilst stewing in its own melted fat.
Completing Born Old Die Young there is the melodically lashing We Walk Alone and the acoustic My Eyes Through The Night. Whilst neither quite live up to the earlier songs both leave only satisfaction behind, the first a further example of the ability of the band to mix consuming intensity with imaginative mesmeric invention, and the second simply a piece of melodic elegance.
The Born Old Die Young EP admittedly does not break out into new and starkly unique pastures but give the band time and one feels that their horizon certainly will. Crown Cardinals is a band we will be hearing a lot more of, the pleasure starts here.
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