Metal Review: Crowned – Vacuous Spectral Silence (2012)

Crowned - Vacuous Spectral Silence (2012)Australian atmospheric black metal band Crowned comes at you with their debut album Vacuous Spectral Silence, and with it, we are introduced to a familiar atmosphere of other black metal bands of this ilk, namely Wolves in the Throne Room and Burzum. While their tone is not as deep and thoughtful and the bands just mentioned, their songwriting is strong and their execution is impeccable. I am not entirely sold on their tone yet, but Vacuous Spectral Silence is very solid nonetheless. Picture a vast winter scene with the darkest of forests and you will begin to understand the picture that Crowned is painting.

Even though there are only six songs on Vacuous Spectral Silence, there is no shortage of excellent work on this release. The majority of the songs are 9+ minutes in length with the epic title track, Vacuous Spectral Silence, clocking in at over 13 minutes. Each song is layered and complex with very well-crafted guitar work.

Songs like Firmament are riff-driven and never stop hammering you with heavy riff after heavy riff and various vocal stylings from solid growls to evil chants. Others tracks like Apocryphal Catacomb keep that black metal vein going strong, but inject some quasi-progressive metal style elements that make it that much deeper.

All in all, this is a black metal release that should not be missed, and remember, Crowned has only been together for two years, so this is a band that we really want to keep our eyes on.

Vacuous Spectral Silence Track Listing:
1. Menelvagor
2. Journey to the Cross-roads
3. Firmament
4. Apocryphal Catacomb
5. Diamonds
6. Vacuous Spectral Silence

Crowned Biography 2012
The three robed figures of Crowned were unified in 2010 by their isolated rural surroundings and similar musical inspirations. Hence, they formed a somber brotherhood to create dark atmospheric music, channeling their own individual personalities with musical exploration and introspection.
As the year 2010 drew nigh, Crowned released their demo recording, Ainulindale. Whilst raw, this three-song recording was a premonition of the expansive dark atmospheres and engaging concepts which the band were able to create with their music. The demo was pressed in an edition of 200 copies, which soon sold out as the band began to perform as a live entity around Queensland, Australia. The demo was well received, and they were invited to play several shows and festivals around Australia alongside bands such as The Amenta, Ruins, Pestilential Shadows, Erebus Enthroned, Drowning the Light, and Spire among others.
Not to rest on their laurels for long, Crowned began writing and recording their debut album, Vacuous Spectral Silence, in 2011. This work was to build upon and fulfill the vision begun with Ainulindale, transcending the demo in technique and production quality. Vacuous Spectral Silence’materialized as a monument to the dark ages, melding haunting Gregorian-like chants with abundant atmosphere, subtle keyboards, and epic ’90s-styled symphonic black metal.

Crowned creates music with intelligence, stylish musicianship, dynamic moods, and sublime hypnotic qualities. It aspires to spiritual transcendence, celestial and astral heights, while also looking into darkness, death, and infinity through the poetry of their lyrics and composition.
October 12th, 2012 heralds the worldwide release of Vacuous Spectral Silence on SEANCE RECORDS. Next and of what is yet to come, only the ages may tell. Until then, a murky veil of atmospheric black metal echoes like the chant of choral ghosts in forgotten crypts. The Vacuous Spectral Silence lingers eternally and the faceless, nameless brotherhood of Crowned retreat to the shadows, their vow of silence made so the music may speak for its self with an aura that words can not express.