A Bard’s Eye View: Selves We Cannot Forgive

Selves We Cannot Forgive

The newest album from Black Crown Initiate

I have been anxiously awaiting the newest onslaught from Reading, Pennsylvania.  I have definitely introduced you to the likes of Black Crown Initiate on several occasions, but for those unfamiliar with them (first time checking out my work here?), I will briefly recap.  In 2013, “Song of the Crippled Bull” was released.  It is heralded as one of the greatest progressive death metal EPs ever released.  The followup, “The Wreckage of Stars” continued the impressive sound they cultivated in their EP.

Now, two years later, I present to you, “Selves We Cannot Forgive”, a beautiful and engrossing masterpiece.  My friend had the distinct privilege of being permitted to record two guitar solos on the album and anytime the band is in town we have some good conversation.  They will be here with Ne Obliviscaris and Starkill on 10 August 2016 (I will providing coverage, of course), and I couldn’t be more excited.

Enough fangirl, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

“For Red Cloud” is the first song featuring my friend’s guitarwork.  It was also the first song released in promotion of the album.  It provides a strong tonal quality and prefaces the album very well.  Beginning with some rather brutal vocals before reintroducing the clean vocals, it balances the chaotic and beautiful real well.

“Sorrowpsalm” has an intro that feels like an Ihsahn song.  The slow buildup and ominous bass gives the song a tension that you don’t really expect.  This is another song that starts off with harsher vocals but soon gives way to a clean and catchy chorus.  The ending is really intense in this song.  “Again” is one of those songs that has that soaring guitar while the cleaner vocals carry the song forward.  It is really pretty.  Some of the guitar passages remind me of some Opeth songs.  This song also showcases the bass skills very prominently.

This album has song decently long songs, most of them exceeding six minutes.  “Belie the Machine” is no exception, clocking in at just under nine minutes long.  Midway through there is this really cool bass line followed by a haunting, ethereal vocal portion that is absolutely amazing.  The title track follows this.  It is very reminiscent of “Song of the Crippled Bull”.  Their video was just published on 25 July 2016.  I’d post it below but it didn’t show up in a quick YouTube search, but it can be found on their Facebook.

“Transmit to Disconnect” features my friend again.  For some of my friends who have heard the album, they say that this song is their favorite.  It probably has the most traditional death metal sound out of any of the songs I have ever heard from them.  “Matriarch” starts off real mellow and progresses into another song that has a lot of Opeth influence in it for sure.  “Vicious Lives” is a completely clean vocal song that serves as their ballad.  It also features the same electronic sound that is at the very beginning of the album so if you have it on repeat it will flow right into the next track.

Thanks for checking this out.  Again, I will be reviewing the show when they come back through and will provide details regarding that in August.  Next week I will be looking at Sage Francis and his body of work.

See you next time.



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