Life In The City

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Independent, 2020)

Karakter: 5/6

DemiseOfTheCrown_LifeInTheCity.jpgWe've heard it say that the purest form of metal is practically classical music on guitars, yet much of metal is in a song, verse/chorus/solo form. Should metal artists write their compositions in a classical form and then make them into a song? This progressive Canadian Montréal, Quebec outfit eschews such notions, reportedly writing pop songs and then dressing them in heavy metal attire - big, memorable choruses, excellent guitar duels, fantastic vocals and amazing solos and genre travels all over the map - for excellent result with minor flaws, which is a vast improvent over their dull eponymous debut (2016).

While there are many reasons to love "Life In The City" (the title possible sarcastic reference to the popular U.S. sitcom "Sex And The City"?) the three major ones are Darren Beadman (vocals), Vince Doiron (guitars) and Manuel Iradian (lead guitars). Darren is apparently possessed by Warrel G. "Dane" Baker (Nevermore), Kevin James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford (Judas Priest) and Paul Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) which makes for a fantastic range, or, better yet, my gosh does the guy have pipes! As for Vince/Manuel guitar duo, the comparisons in the promo release to Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen and Yngwie Johan Malmsteen do not completely do them justice because these guys are so much more, be it in technical, melodic or cooperative aspects. The guitars together with the vocals, bass (Simon Doiron) and the drums (Kevin Alexander La Palerma) allow for this synthesis: take a thick layer of Dream Theater, spread some Nevermore then Avenged Sevenfold and finally pour liberal dressing of Judas Priest on top, seasoning it with Megadeth and Helloween to taste, but perhaps the greatest comparison could be made to their countrymen, Biomechanical.

While Demise Of The Crown's promoter, Jon Asher and Asher Media Relations (who has been for the band since their much less interesting metalcore beginnings) uses a great track to represent "Life In The City" - "My Mind Is Free", with its excellent chorus and vocal and guitar prowess on full display - it is hardly the album's greatest highlight, for that could go to either the Megadeth-ian "Wild Life" - featuring addictive chorus, doomy verses and a solo worthy of Darrell Lance "Dimebag" Abbott (ex-Pantera) from the "Cowboys From Hell" days, or to the hard rocking Avenged Sevenfold-ish "The Rise And The Fall" - with a Saul "Slash" Hudson-like solo and, again, fantastic chorus, or it could go to the Testament-ian/Killswitch Engage-sque "Fixated", and these are just the 3 of my favorites, for time and space will not allow me to describe "Glorious Life" (Dickinson pipes!), "Lightning Strikes" (Dane melodeclamations akin to "And The Maiden Spoke"), or the closing Queensrÿche-ian title track, in more detail. But I will close the accolades with the credit for the excellent cover which reminds me of Obituary's "World Demise".
Given your math skills and the info that the album has 11 tracks you can easily deduce that there are some tracks I did not mention and that's because they did not quite grab me as the rest. However, while the opening "Dying Heat" doesn't do much for me, I admit "Sparks Fly" in a "We Disintegrate" Nevermore-ian fashion in its immediate follower, while "The Immortal" does have a great chorus. That we even can identify less exciting tracks on such an excellent album plays to the artist's strength since the former's short number witnesses to the greatest of the rest, so no more than 1 point deduction is in order.

I recommend "Life In The City" to fans of hard rock and all kinds of metal. Demise Of The Crown has made a quantum leap already with their 2nd album and I hope the accolades won't go to their heads like some of their contemporaries I won't mention here (cough.Trivium.cough) because I want to hear even greater things from them in the future.


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