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Crowned By Fire - "Space Music For Cave People" (CD/EP)

Crowned By Fire - "Space Music For Cave People" CD/EP cover image

"Space Music For Cave People" track listing:

1. Buried Away
2. Light ov the Voodoo Star
3. Crowned by Fire
4. Something in Her Blood
5. Space Music for Cave People
6. Burnin' For You

Reviewed by on September 15, 2014

"The grooves are great and the solos even better."

Those seeking sludgy Southern stoner metal in the Black Label Society mold will find lots to love on Crowned By Fire's "Space Music For Cave People." Despite moments when the vocals don't match what's going on instrumentally, it's a generally enjoyable EP of mid-tempo metal.

Guitarist Justin Manning served as Zakk Wylde's guitar tech, and its obvious that he picked up a few tricks from the ex-Ozzy ax-slinger. The solo and fills on "Light Of The Voodoo Star" feel like vintage Black Label Society.

That's not to say that the band is a Black Label Society clone, despite having recorded the EP at Wylde's Black Vatican studio. The disc's best track, "Crowned By Fire," takes a nice dirty blues groove in all kinds of interesting places, with some excellent work by bassist Chris Breedlove and drummer Rocco Paolone. "Something In Her Blood" also stands out, feeling like a near perfect fusion of Black Sabbath and Lynnrd Skynnrd.

That said, John Fitterer's mostly shouted vocals can take some getting used to. Stuff like the title track works well with that approach. Much less impressive is the cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "Burnin' For You," in which Fitterer seems totally out of place, given the otherwise faithful take on the original song.

"Space Music For Cave People" will appeal to Southern and stoner metal fans, despite some awkward vocals here and there. The grooves are great and the solos even better.

Highs: "Something In Her Blood" and "Crowned By Fire"

Lows: A poorly advised Blue Oyster Cult cover

Bottom line: Southern and stoner metal fans will find plenty of great grooves here.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)