Genres grow and die; things are in flux. The waves of musical styles meet, clash, and break apart only to meet once again in the future and create something new. Take the many transformations of the milieu which contains genres like industrial, coldwave, darkwave, and electro-pop. It first reared its abrasive, punk-infused head in the late 70’s and really exploded in the early 80’s alongside the technological revolution and commercialization of the digital synthesizer. Since then, those genres have been reborn, been the foci of several revivals and retro movements, taken apart and reconfigured in all sorts of interesting and weird ways. Taken together, this history is one of divergence and convergence, of an oscillation between norm, its rebels, and their subsequent “return to the fold”, a return which is, of course, only illusion since they transform the norm by their very return.
How’s that for an intro, huh? But this story, metaphor, and diagram are useful in understand the sound that Crown bring forth on their upcoming release, The End of All Things. This sound is very much present on the track we’re premiering from it (scroll down below for the music) titled “Shades”. When the duo first erupted onto the stage in 2011, after spending many years producing and mixing music behind the scenes, their sound was firmly in the industrial range of things. But this upcoming release brings forth more of the tangential and historical relationships between industrial and its “sister” genres like coldwave while splicing them with influences that range from shoegaze to black metal. Just have a listen and let’s rally after.
You hear it, right? That opening synth line is darkwave to the extreme but the drums that punctuate it are very much industrial. But then the vocals are abrasive and high-pitched, reminding us of Ihsahn‘s unique timbre. The wild ride continues as the bridge introduces a pop-like vocal arrangement, perhaps bringing Frost* or Anathema to mind. These sounds are then given fruition on the chorus, which might remind you of Depeche Mode, especially once you hear how the main synth line is transformed after it. That’s where the coldwave comes in, in that thick tone and its relationship with the detached and aloof vocals. It’s a veritable smorgasbord or, more elegantly said, a tribute, homage, and exploration of that milieu, the terroir under which these fundamentally electronic, interconnected, yet divergent musical styles were created.
And there’s plenty more of that on the album, with interesting combinations and ideas flowering on every track. All of which to say that The End of All Things is out April 16 via Pelagic Records (where else) and you can pre-order it right here.