Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
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Saturday, January 13, 2018
Crom (review by MMB)
When Northmen Die
Pure Steel Records
December 1, 2017
A new name (to this publication) in melodic metal rolls in with huge confidence. Meet Crom. If it’s your game to find melodic, memorable albums with good singing, then shuffle the cards and make this pick. Crom is concerned not with speed per se, and is interested not in heaviness itself, but rather in something bigger, something indispensable: the art and the sophistication of fine melodies that many people can enjoy. Let’s get out of the way the basic formalities of sound and style descriptions. Crom is, depending on your viewpoint, melodic Viking metal and melodic heavy metal. Regardless of image or lyrical or visual matters, just based on the music, this is adult contemporary metal, more specifically, midtempo symphonic and for singing along.
There are luscious background choirs, with the objective of the creation of epic majesty as if you are in an opera hall or in a big movie theater with booming sound. Much of the music sounds like anthems, although there are some quieter moments, with ballads or power ballads.
Crom is melodic music, but it is also melancholic. The guitar melodies move under the weight of themes of death, loneliness and good-byes. The singing, appropriately, is friendly to the ear, but I’m pretty sure that few people would consider it happy, for it has a great tone of sadness to it. As the album advances, the singing continues to go deeper into areas of dejection and heartache. In other words, some of the songs may work with the consumption of certain beverages at European metal festivals, but not it’s super cheery music, either. Nevertheless, this music is, most of all, traditional and melodic heavy metal. It should be fun to the listener because Crom music also has an uplifting spirit that carries the tunes.