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Crown The Lost - "Cold Pestilent Hope" (CD)

Crown The Lost - "Cold Pestilent Hope" CD cover image

"Cold Pestilent Hope" track listing:

1. Pray For Death
2. Separate Blood From Waste
3. Breathe Into Emptiness
4. In Defiance Of Sanctity
5. Solitude and Failure
6. Eyes Without Sight
7. Bloodsoaked Serenity
8. Consumed
9. Cold Pestilent Hope
10. Forgotten and Damned
11. Inexorable

Reviewed by on July 24, 2011

"Thrash savagery and power metal presision mix to near-perfection on Crown The Lost's 'Cold Pestilent Hope.'"

Bridging the not-as-wide-as-you-might-think gulf between the power and thrash metal genres, Crown The Lost serves up an appealing mix of technicality, beauty and savagery on the band's latest album, "Cold Pestilent Hope."

In a manner that's quite reminiscent of modern Megadeth in some ways, the band's guitarists seem to be splitting genres. On one hand, on tracks like "Breathe Into Emptiness" and "In Defiance Of Sanctity," rhythm guitarist David Gehlke is playing pure thrash. Meanwhile, lead ax-man Joe Bonaddio is playing lightspeed, technically perfect solos that wouldn't feel out of place on an Yngwie Malmsteen record. It's a mix that works quite well.

The way Leon Mallah's vocals fit into the thrash rhythm guitars is a bit reminiscent of Anthrax's Joey Belladonna in some ways, especially when he lets loose with a falsetto scream here and there. Some fascinating contrasts occur on "Bloodsoaked Serenity," as Mallah roughens his tone up quite a bit, with some latter-day Anselmo growl thrown in for good measure.

Drummer Argel Marchelletta also merits mention, playing some quite excellent patterns on "Consumed" and the instrumental "Solitude And Failure" that complement the melody lines well.

Only one of the album's 11 tracks, "Eyes Without Sight," falls short of the mark, feeling a bit disjointed, particularly in a segment where Mallah is singing over an overly complex lead guitar line. The two "instruments" just don't mix right. But, given that the rest of the album's 50 minutes are very nearly pitch-perfect, that's a small concern.

Thrash savagery and power metal presision mix to near-perfection on Crown The Lost's "Cold Pestilent Hope."

Highs: "In Defiance Of Sanctity," "Breathe Into Emptiness" and "Bloodsoaked Serenity."

Lows: The disjointed "Eyes Without Sight."

Bottom line: An excellent disc that blends power metal purity with thrash energy.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)