Swedish Death Metal. There’s just something that the Scandinavians have a bit of a knack for. Extreme metal is definitely amongst them. The Crown may not be a household name as such, but their violent and rough form of Death Metal is both well-defined and raw. The Swedes take The Crown back as far as 1990 and Cobra Speed Venom is their tenth release, but their first since 2015’s Death is Not Dead didn’t quite live up to its predecessor Doomsday King.
Cobra Speed Venom feels like an aggressive energy with melodic overtones that screams out like a God Dethroned album. It is both raw and brutal with a vocal style that is both deep and with a touch of evil, whilst both being melodic and groove-like at times. ‘Destroyed by Madness’ has a chorus that demonstrates this feel – both a snarled melody and catchy.
‘We Avenge!’ takes the groove and makes it the focus without crossing too much of a boundary. It is just another example of the melodic power the guitars have whilst giving it a steady beat. On the other side of the spectrum, ‘In the Name of Death’ and ‘World War Machine’ exemplify a stop/start riff that, again, recalls the brutal aggression within God Dethroned. The lead guitars within ‘Cobra Speed Venom’ and ‘Rise in Blood’ again bring a melody that feels fast, brutal and crafting this into a melody but also feels like God Dethroned.
‘Where My Grave Shall Stand’ is the only example of a song that isn’t brutal and fast but allows the melody of the guitars to take a forefront. This doesn’t take from the brutality as a slow riff accompanies an even slower lead. It makes for a nice element to hit before the albums last punch. Offered on this album are a few bonus tracks that give an exploration in rougher territory. Fitting in aggression but also an addition, a noticeable extra but a nice gift to close the album.
Melodic, aggressive and powerful; this is by no means a bad album. It is, if anything, a good example of Death Metal done right. It shows an aggression that pairs itself with melodic elements unafraid to be slow or ‘light’ as well as painfully powerful. If it is a poor man’s God Dethroned for the band then that still hits a high mark for Metal.