Band Photo: Northern Crown (?)
Last Known Status: Active
As one of the oldest genres of heavy metal, doom metal’s roots are buried deep and anchor the extensive forest that heavy metal has become. Northern Crown pays homage to those who have come before in its approach to riffs, organ use, and pacing, but doesn’t let the old school ways of doom define it.
“In The Hands of The Betrayer,” the band’s first EP, features five intense pieces ranging from four to twelve minutes in length. Covering the emotions of retribution, shock, outrage, and despair in the originals, the album rounds out with a cover of Candlemass’ 1986 anthem, “Crystal Ball.”
Album vocalist Frank Serafine summons a formidable blend of his vocal influences, such as Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, and Jorn Lande, for his performance. Drummer Josh Brown is guided by the rule of elegant simplicity in his stylings and contributes many nuances to the songs both in pushing a section or pulling back the momentum.
Latest Northern Crown News
Below is our complete Northern Crown news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
2016 Metal Newcomers Explored, Part III
Our annual staff awards were recently announced, but each year we delve into some of the newcomers a little more in-depth to help our readers discover new metal bands. I have not been on the pulse of metal as much as in years past, but I still discovered a few new bands to enjoy in 2016. While my best-of picks were all folk metal and thrash, the newcomers I enjoyed were a little more varied, but some still falling into those categories. Here were my top five metal newcomer picks for 2016:
I enjoy folk metal a lot and with the shakeup in Eluveitie's lineup, I was especially happy to discover another excellent folk metal alternative in Huldre, who released "Tusmørke" this year. While not officially the band's first album, until hitting bandcamp just recently it was extremely difficult to get a copy of the band's music in the States. Huldre varies things quite a bit on "Tusmørke," going from soothing folk with female vocals to heavier, chugging riffs. "Hindeham" is a decently heavy track throughout and is a good place to start, while "Underjordisk" is a bit faster paced overall.
The Best And Worst Of Heavy Metal In 2016
We're at the end of the year already somehow? It was a big one for me personally as my head banging, bouncer moshing son arrived in May ready to throw the horns straight out of the womb!
There was a whole lot going on in the metal world as well to mark the year of his birth, with about equal parts good, bad, and utterly bizarre.
With the notable exception of one long-dormant mega band whose name is on everyone's lips, it seems like the reunion / reboot craze has finally come to a rest, for now anyway, and we can once again forget about all those broken up '80s and '90s groups seeking another day in the spotlight.
That paved the way for both a crop of new bands (and there were some awesome newcomers this year!) and long-running groups who never called it quits to show us what they could do throughout 2016.
The Good: Metal Highlights of 2016
It was back in 2015 that we started asking why there wasn't more heavy metal invading the world of PC and console gaming, and this year we actually saw some new additions. The top-down bullet hell wonder of "Metal Tales: Fury Of The Guitar Gods" just arrived last month, while the rhythm game / RPG "Metronomicon" landed at the end of September.
The beginning of the year was also marked by the very metaltastic "Slain," drawing heavily from early Castlevania, and while it had an incredibly rocky launch, reviews are steadily getting more positive as patches are released.
On the music front, this was unquestionably the year of thrash!
New albums arrived from Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, and even the long-awaited return of the band everyone loves to hate, Metallica (although as our reader poll and CROMCarl's review show, there's clearly still some fans out there in the metal underground). More...
Northern Crown To Release "The Others"
Florida Doom Metal force Northern Crown has announced the October 14th release of the full-length debut album "The Others." Following 2014's critically acclaimed EP "In the Hands of the Betrayer," the new Northern Crown is stretching out to new heights, with emphasis on the rock organ and a less rigid approach to the genre.
Main songwriter and guitarist Zachary Randall notes that "this is easily the most personal art I've ever created, both musically and lyrically." The care and attention to detail have refined the songs, creating real character and vision. Northern Crown is the sound of realization and reaction, with a touch of smoke and mirrors. Equal parts austere and ostentatious, but heavy all the way through.
Vocalist/guitarist Frank Serafine notes, "we know what we're good at now, and focused more on bringing out those performances from each other." The long-running title track, recalling a quote from philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, is sure to be another enthralling critical favorite.
Serafine summons a heady blend of his influences, such as Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Roy Khan, and Jorn Lande, for his performance. Former Northern Crown founding member Leona Hayward returns to the fold, rounding out the rhythm section with a heavy Steve Harris/Geezer Butler-inspired attack. Drummer Josh Brown is guided by the rule of elegant simplicity in his stylings and momentum. Guest performers on The Others also include Nightfall/Dark Hound guitarist Evan Hensley and organs by Vincent Perez.
The track listing is as follows:
1. With Malicious Eye
2. Surreality (The Tell-Tale Mind)
3. No One Came to Mourn Me
5. A Pox Upon Your House
6. Les Autres More...
Northern Crown Working On Album
Northern Crown is currently working on the follow-up to "In The Hands of the Betrayer" (reviewed here), with the band commenting:
"One year ago today, we released our debut EP. Having no way to set any expectations, the positive reaction we received from fans and critics was overwhelming. Thank you to everyone involved from band members to friends, fans and music writers.
"While we have your attention, we'd like to let you know that Zach, Frank & Ken are busy demoing new material with the plan to release a new album in the first half of 2016. We're really excited and hope you are, too." More...
Metalunderground.com's Best Of 2014 Awards
What was old is now new again, as much like with Hollywood returning to Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Terminator, metal heads had a desire for past and present to collide throughout 2014.
This was another year of major reunions and comebacks with the likes of At The Gates, Slipknot, Sanctuary, and Massacre all returning with new material. The long dead Coal Chamber also came back to life, although we won't see an actual release until next year (with varying opinions on to whether that particular resurrection was wanted or needed).
Besides all the blasts from the past, this was a year marked by spectacles in the metal world – some truly unfortunate and others less so. Heavy metal managed to hit the Facebook trending bar and gain exposure to millions when 92 year old actor Christopher Lee released his Metal Knight EP and Christmas single ”Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.”
Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying was finally sentenced after being arrested back in 2013 for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife – an act that lead to the creation of Wovenwar, featuring the remaining members of As I Lay Dying as well as a fellow ex-believer from Oh, Sleeper.
This was also the year that included Roadrunner Records botching the release of the first Opeth single from “Pale Communion” and subsequently breaking the Internet. And who could forget Wintersun's infamous rant (perhaps best summarized as “I can't possibly record an album unless its in my own personal studio that someone else has paid for”), which sent a horde of lemming-like fans to send death threats to the Nuclear Blast Facebook page?
Typical metal shenanigans aside, this was actually a solid year for metal overall even past the major reunions. Now moving into 2015, the big question marks are if that Metallica album actually comes out, when Dimmu Borgir is finally going to get around to leaking some new info, and for those of us who have been impatiently waiting since 2012 – when will God Of Atheists finally drop that debut release that we voted most anticipated two years ago?
Before any of those questions come close to getting answers, let's take a look back at what 2014 had to offer for metal fans... More...
Northern Crown Premieres Full New EP
Fall is officially here, and that means it's time for metal to start bringing the gloom! Your first thought might be atmospheric black metal, but that's not the direction we're going today, as Northern Crown shows that music can be gloomy and still have great licks and discernible vocals.
The newly formed doom outfit pays homage to those who have come before in approach to riffs, organ use, and pacing, but doesn't let the old school ways of doom define it.
“...Doom, specifically, is about alienation,” main songwriter and guitarist Zachary Randall explains. If other acts can be said to be the trees of the forest, Northern Crown is the velvet fog unfurling through them.
Today you can experience that sense of alienation, as we have teamed up with the band to stream all the tracks from new EP "In The Hands Of The Betrayer." The EP is officially due out October 14th, but you can now check out all the songs below - including the band's cover of the Candlemass track "Crystal Ball."
Randall notes that, “this is easily the most personal art I've ever created...both musically
and lyrically.” Listen in below and let us know what you think of the release! For more information on the band, head over to the Northern Crown website here. More...
Northern Crown Details Debut EP, Streams New Track
Florida doom metal act Northern Crown will release the debut EP "In the Hands of the Betrayer" on October 14, 2014. The title track can be heard streaming over at this location.
"In the Hands of the Betrayer" features five intense pieces ranging from four to twelve minutes in length. Covering the emotions of retribution, shock, outrage, and despair in the originals, the album rounds out with a cover of Candlemass' classic song "Crystal Ball." "Doom, specifically, is about alienation," main songwriter and guitarist Zachary Randall explains. Randall goes on to note that, "this is easily the most personal art I've ever created, both musically and lyrically." Each song, the oldest more than ten years in the making, is detailed, emotive, and pronounces a rare resonance and memorability. Northern Crown is the sound of realization and reaction, with a touch of smoke and mirrors - an approaching, encroaching storm.
Album vocalist Frank Serafine summons a formidable blend of his vocal influences, such as Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Jorn Lande. Drummer Josh Brown is guided by the rule of elegant simplicity in his style and contributes many nuances to the songs both in pushing a section or pulling back the momentum. Featured performers also include guests from psych metal pioneers Orbweaver, with guitarist Sally Gates contributing leads and Randy Piro summoning bass guitar lines from the aether. Additionally, Roberto Celentano of Shadow Society adds a keyboard presence in the forms of organs and piano throughout the record, recalling Ray Manzarek, Jon Lord, Ken Hensley and Per Wiberg, which completes the crux of the smothering atmosphere.
The track list for the EP is:
1. In the Hands of the Betrayer
2. A Perfectly Realized Torment
3. Crystal Ball (Candlemass Cover)
4. Approaching, Encroaching Storm
5. To Thee I Give an Orchid More...