Crown the Empire released their fourth studio album, Sudden Sky, last week via Rise Records. Balancing over-the-top, heavy riffs with amazing bass work and killer vocals Sudden Sky is unique and incredibly complete and shows huge growth for the band with a definitive appeal.
One thing that struck me as strange about this album was the release strategy. Crown The Empire hasn’t quite achieved the heights they rightfully deserve, which may be what led to this approach. Of the 10 tracks that complete the endeavor, five were released well before the album came out. I feel like I’ve been jamming “20/20” since last summer. This song is aggressive and really moves along. The outro is incredibly heavy with an intense scream to lead into the final chorus and a double bass pick up in the bridge that gets me going no matter how many times I hear it. “what i am” is another track that has been around for quite some time and has an amazingly catchy chorus line with strong appeal and a bass line that pushes the whole damn thing forward. To say I love it is an understatement.
“MZRY” is another early release and is the single that has probably gotten the most attention so far, and for good reason. Easily one of the heavier tunes on the album, the track seems to change stylistically throughout and has a great display of musicianship, including some tight key and tempo changes with killer heavy vocals. “BLURRY (out of place)” is destined to be the song that gives Crown the Empire the push they deserve into the limelight. This song is as catchy as they come while maintaining an ominous vibe. The vocal work is on point throughout and the explosion into the first chorus is one of the most memorable moments of the album.
There is a ton of substance in the unreleased tracks as well. “Under the Skin” is a lighter, simpler track that has amazing vocal range and is a welcome reprieve in the middle of the album. “Red Pills” is a heavier track on the album and starts off as such, picking up throughout. The bridge literally gives me goosebumps each time I listen. “SEQU3NCE” is one of my absolute favorites and it is a barn burner. This song is a special kind of heavy – it is aggressive and unapologetic and the breakdown has a shift to double bass that absolutely crushes.
My favorite song is the title track and album closer. It’s a heavy track that has a big, memorable chorus. The vocals are awesome and I was singing along by the end of my first listen. The initial breakdown is so heavy it hurts, but that’s not what gets me. The bass line in the bridge is the most appealing thing I have heard come from the low tones in quite some time. It’s not overly complicated but sticks out in a big way and signifies the come-down of the album and the beginning of the last big push.
This album does not disappoint. Even though I’ve been familiar with a number of these tracks for some time, the record has only been out for a few days and I am already considering it one of the year’s most impactful, complete albums. Check it out!
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