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Drone - "For Torch And Crown" (CD)

Drone - "For Torch And Crown" CD cover image

"For Torch And Crown" track listing:

1. Format C
2. Making Believe
3. Deepest Red
4. Zombies In The Moshpit
5. For Torch & Crown
6. Burning Storybook
7. Croak In Your Waste
8. Stick To Yourself
9. Short Way Down
10. Bloody Mary

Reviewed by on August 11, 2012

"An excellent modern thrash album, 'For Torch And Crown' will light a fire in the hearts and souls of discerning metalheads. It's one of the best releases of the year so far."

Playing modern thrash along the lines of Shadows Fall and Trivium, German thrash act Drone is on fire on "For Torch and Crown." It's a well-played, well-produced album that blends aggression, technicality and gorgeously layered sound.

This is the third full-length album for these Teutonic terrors, following 2007's "Head-On Collision" and 2009's "Juggernaut." The depth of experience within the band shows on tracks like "Stick To Yourself," which feature a mixture of sounds and speeds that might confound other bands. Drummer Felix Hoffmeyer is a big part of the band's success throughout the album.

That's not to dismiss the work of guitarists Marcelo Vasquez Rocha and Mutz Hempel, whose riffs and solos on "Short Way Down" are a revelation. The riffing on "For Torch & Crown" displays quite a bit of versatility within the thrash genre. "Bloody Mary," for example, alternates between a speedy thrash line and a bluesy riff that flirts with boogie, a la Black Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots."

Hempel also is the lead singer, and spends much of the time delivering his vocals in a Brian Fair-style growl, but there are moments of clean singing that are quite excellent. "Bloody Mary" and "Stick To Yourself" especially come to mind. Those just looking to bang their head like crazy will especially enjoy tracks like "Burning Storybook" and "Deepest Red," which bring plenty of aggression to the proceedings.

The production by the band and Florian Nowak is nothing short of spectacular, with a low-end that brings out some sinister sounds from Fabian Harms' bass-playing.

All that said, the album does put its weakest foot forward, with an opening track ("Format C") that aims for the kind of slow-burn intro of Metallica's "Blackened," but falls a bit short.

An excellent modern thrash album, "For Torch And Crown" will light a fire in the hearts and souls of discerning metalheads. It's one of the best releases of the year so far.

Highs: "Bloody Mary," Burning Storybook" and "Deepest Red."

Lows: The weak intro, "Format C"

Bottom line: An excellent album that will thrill fans of modern thrash.

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)