"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Crown The Lost - "Blind Faith Loyalty" (CD)

Crown The Lost - "Blind Faith Loyalty" CD cover image

"Blind Faith Loyalty" track listing:

01. Defame the Hypocrites (4:07)
02. Drawing the Parallel (6:12)
03. Bound To Wrath (5:42)
04. Symbiotic (7:10)
05. Finality (5:18)
06. Dreaming In Reverse (4:41)
07. Privation (5:11)
08. Impose Your Will (4:07)
09. Hollow Refuge (6:26)
10. Blind Faith Loyalty (5:45)

Reviewed by on May 13, 2009

"'Blind Faith Loyalty' is modern thrash with melody as the number one agenda, aiming for catchy and memorable songs first and fore-most."

Metal is currently under a recent surge of young musicians playing a modern form of 80s thrash. From stealing riffs and melodies outright from bands of the time period, to adding elements of death metal, it seems that everybody is pulling out all the stops to get themselves noticed. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania quintet Crown The Lost has been gaining quite a large following in the underground Northeast metal scene, with their 2006 debut “Reverence Dies Within” being revered and helping them obtain a record deal with Cruz Del Sur. After three years, the band’s sophomore album, “Blind Faith Loyalty,” has been unleashed and shows a big step forward for the band, while keeping the core elements that made their debut album a solid display of thrash metal.

The big attraction to Crown The Lost is vocalist Chris Renaldi. Most current metal bands tend to elect a front man that has a harsh tone and style to his voice, matching the intensity evoked by the music. Renaldi is the polar opposite, utilizing a clean and high-pitched style that seems more suited for power/symphonic metal.

Renaldi has a wide range that he makes the most out of throughout “Blind Faith Loyalty,” and puts in a commendable performance as a result. His ear-splitting falsettos on “Privation” and “Drawing The Parallels” are a stark contrast to his operatic work on the closing title track and “Symbiotic.” Growled vocals are used on occasion, but they come off weak and unconvincing, overshadowed by Renaldi's performance.

“Blind Faith Loyalty” mixes fast, aggressive numbers and mid-paced, up-tempo head-bangers. Crown The Lost has added more twists and turns to their sound since their debut album, not afraid to push the songs into directions that extend the length a considerable deal. The band throws a few curve balls along the way, with the beautiful acoustic ending to “Bound To Wrath” and the extended lead section on the closing track. Opener “Defame The Hypocrites” is a wild start to the album, with a no-frills approach to thrash, while “Hollow Refuge” has a breakdown that was built with the live audience in mind.

Lead guitarist Joe Bonaddio has total command of his instrument, pulling out flashy, yet tasteful, solo work that isn’t drawn-out. On the other side, the guitar work of David E. Gehlke is consistent and powerful, sounding like a young James Hetfield at times. The rhythm section is solid, keeping a hovering presence over the proceedings and not getting in the way.

Considering the relative young age of the musicians involved, Crown The Lost has a lot to offer the metal world. “Blind Faith Loyalty” is modern thrash with melody as the number one agenda, aiming for catchy and memorable songs first and fore-most. The band is confident enough in their talents to push song lengths that most contemporary bands shy away from, and for the majority of the album, Crown The Lost keeps the interest of the listener long enough to traverse through the epic moments. Crown The Lost has a lot going for themselves, as long as they stick to what they do best; melodic thrash metal with a heavy emphasis on the lead guitar work.

Highs: Nice guitar work, soaring clean vocals, most song has a fluid progression

Lows: Inexperience shows in a few longer songs, growled vocals are mediocre.

Bottom line: "Blind Faith Loyalty" is a major leap forward for Crown The Lost and shows large growth within the band as both musicians and songwriters.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)