“Kill The Crown”
Melodic Death Metal
Label: Rotten Records
01. Kill The Crown
02. To The Top
03. Elle Ess Dee
04. Why Don't You Have A Seat 05. Cash On Delivery
06. Early Mornings And Late Nights
07. A Year In The Suburbs
08. The Cliff Before The Fall
I feel I need to be upfront in saying that I am unfamiliar with Salt the Woundʼs previous albums, Carnal Repercussions and Ares. I mention this because I had no opinion of STW before hearing Kill The Crown and since Iʼve developed mixed feelings about the band.
Salt The Wound was formed in 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio. After releasing Carnal Repercussions, the band went through some line-up changes and additions, released Ares, then called it quits in 2010 and had a farewell tour. In 2011, STW reformed with the original singer and guitarist; Kevin Schaefer and Jake Scott, respectively. Brandon Tabor, drummer for The Analyst, also joined for the come-back. Iʼve never been a fan of bands or artists that “quit” then reform, but thatʼs a different story.
Musically, Kill The Crown is a solid listen. The bandʼs composing skills are showcased in the two instrumentals that bookend the album, “Kill The Crown” and “Consequence.” Everything in-between is good, but predictable. Every track clocks in between 3-4 minutes, give or take a couple seconds, and all follow run-of-the-mill song structure. If youʼre looking for technical metal, rapid tempo changes, sprawling epics, or even guitar solos; this is not the album for you. Salt The Wound is straight-forward Death metal with some melody and plenty of break-downs. Itʼs formulaic, but it works. A fair amount of production was also put into the album so, generally speaking, it sounds good. My favorite tracks are “Why Donʼt You Have a Seat,” “Early Mornings and Late Nights,” and “Cliff Before The Fall.”
Schaeferʼs vocals are what you would expect. While most metal core screaming usually annoys me, his are mid-ranged enough to enjoy. If you like death growls, your cup will runneth over. While itʼs nothing spectacular, this is a good effort and will please any average metalhead. I give it a C+. Extra points were awarded for having a secret song.
If youʼve enjoyed the review, have the album and like it, I suggest you stop reading.
While Schaeferʼs screams and growls are excellent, the lyrical content is TERRIBLE. Be thankful his words are so indistinguishable. This is where my complex feelings about this band come into play. The first week I had this album I listened to it every day, and I really enjoyed it. However, now that Iʼve sat down to review it and Iʼve read all the lyrics, Iʼm ashamed of myself. Hereʼs the lyrical breakdown by song:
“To The Top” – All about living the high life. Rollinʼ in expensive cars and giving vegan girls a mouthful of irony. Sheʼs vegan and eats his meat, get it? Ugh. I hope the whole song is meant to be ironic.
“Elle Ess Dee” – Makes me seriously question if heʼs ever ingested drugs… ever.
“Why You Donʼt Have A Seat” – Remember ʻTo Catch A Predator?ʼ Thatʼs what this is about. Except he murders the pedophiles instead of having them arrested. Clever.
“Cash On Delivery” – He must think heʼs the gangsta of metal. These are his streets and heʼll shoot you if you use the wrong tone. No disemboweling or stabbing eyes with a prison shiv or mutilating and feeding on the corpse. Heʼll just shoot you… brutal, right?
“Early Mornings and Late Nights” – Heʼs lost his significant other and now heʼs sad. I mean, itʼs all painful nʼ stuff. Actual Lyric: “This pain haunts me, I wish you were here.”
“A Year In The Suburbs” – He lived with a significant other and things didnʼt go well.
“The Cliff Before The Fall” – About pushing on even when youʼre failing. With two songs left on the album, I feel this song is a damn good metaphor for the way things are going.
“Breathless” – Seeing the unattainable girl and falling for her in an instant. For one night, she is his and things will never be the same.
I cannot count the number of deep sighs and groans I released while reading the lyrics. Metal, especially the Death variety, is supposed to be gory, disgusting, and explicit by nature. At the very least, rebellious. These are angry Indy-teen lyrics put to the tune of mediocre death metal. I still give this album a C+, but only because I canʼt tell what heʼs screaming.