#ThisEnding Crowned in Blood

4 min read

Band: This Ending
Title: Crowned in Blood
Label: Apostasy Records
Release date:  26 April 2024
Country: Sweden
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording 

“Crowned in Blood” is the fifth album by This Ending since they started their journey in 2006. They called themselves The Plague for a brief period of time, between 2005 and 2006, and then changed their name to This Ending. Back in those days, they were the same guys that a few years before were in the band A Canorous Quintet (a curious name for a Melodic Death Metal band, by the way) and had split up in 1999. 

In 2021 they released their fourth album, “Needles of Rust” and that album was a real punch in my face: it was devastating, powerful, with lots of melodies and also with the perfect amount of aggressiveness. I wrote a review of that album in this zine when it was released, and also an interview with Mårten, the vocalist…  Well you can say maybe I have something with this band, and you’re not wrong, haha. 

Now it’s the turn of “Crowned in Blood”, which will see the light on April 26th by the hand of Apostasy Records. And this is another display of high energy, with Mårten characteristic furious screams and roars spitting their psalms, the Swedish trademark tremolo riffs, the melodies played by guitars that can leave you in a state of bliss, the ultra blasting drums, and the very noticeable bass. I must admit that the more I’ve been listening to it, the more I like it, even if it doesn’t reach the same level of excellence as  “Needles of Rust”, in my opinion. By very little, though.

For me, side A of this album is better than side B. The opener is the self-titled song, and to my surprise there’s Anders Strokirk (Necrophobic) as a guest vocalist, and sounds as evil as you can imagine. Plus it’s a highly energetic song, driven by overwhelming drums and plenty of tremolo riffs. There’s a spoken break done by Leo Pignon (who was in the band in their two first albums, and also in A Canorous Quintet until they split up), and the song continues with an epic and beautiful guitar solo until the chorus returns. A quiet piano melody while there’s rain in the background and Leo’s speech drive this song to its end. What an impressive start.

“Birth of Evil”, “Devils” and “Will of Iron” have some kind of devastating powers. Yeah, hail to blast beats and fuming double bass pedal, sticky riffs, and savage vocals, all cradled by an amazing bass work! And then comes “Blood King”, a 2 minute instrumental piece very beautiful and delicate, an interlude, a brief respite. There are still 5 more songs to go, we better take a breath! 

“A Venomous Prison” comes next and it’s another blast. Sometimes I have the impression that guitars and bass play so perfectly entwined that their music forms an almost touchable net, something solid, a thick layer of sound that seems to be alive and embrace me almost physically. Argh, sometimes I have issues trying to describe the effect that some music has on me. But more or less, this is it.

“Hope in Inferno” is slower and a bit too melodic for my taste, it lacks a bit of “muscle” that almost all the rest of the songs have. But in its favor I must say that the guitar solo is beautiful. “Lord, Master, King and Emperor – All in One” comes next and it has the guest appearance of Joakim Svensson (Skogen, Birdflesh) on vocals. It’s the longest track, and again, a song that runs in general a bit slower (and it’s softer) than the rest, with a great work done by drums and the two vocalists. “Awakening” is another blast when it seems it’s all done; Mårten rips off his throat and the guys play consumed by fire again, I hear the characteristic This Ending sound here, yeah! And the album ends with “Light the Flame”, this is a banger, it has a great rhythmic section. This song alternates some calm parts with other ones that are really powerful, and the result is a well balanced and strong ending of the album.

All in all, I must admit that “Crowned in Blood” has trapped me… but, in my opinion, it can’t beat their previous album, “Needles of Rust”, which was perfect for me. I give this album 9/10   Sílvia



9/10 Epic Storm
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