|Johan Lindstrand||Marko Tervonen||Robin Sörqvist||Magnus Olsfelt||Henrik Axelsson|
“Death Is Not Dead” is the somewhat programmatic title of Swedish THE CROWN’s 8th album (counting in “The Burning” & “Eternal Death” originally released as Crown Of Thorns) and marks a bold sonic statement showing the thrashing death metal lunatics at the top of their game. Profiting from the return of original frontman Johan Lindstrand, his merciless voice thrones above a barrage of riffs, insane paces and twisted song structures destined to please any THE CROWN supporter since day one.
Formed as a primitive garage act in 1990, a compilation appearance in ’92 and the legendary dark and brutal demos “Forever Heaven Gone” (1993) and “Forget The Light” (1994) followed, leading up to a deal with Black Sun Records (Grotesque, Nifelheim, Ceremonial Oath) and the much-lauded debut album “The Burning” (1995). Blending a strong sense of melody with the thrashing ferocity of American acts and atmospheric flavor of Scandinavian tradition, the band impressed media and fans alike with a perfect amalgamation of feeling and sheer brutality. A video for “Of Good And Evil” was shot and further helped spreading the band’s moniker as did their cover of “Mandatory Suicide” on the “Slatanic Slaughter – a tribute to Slayer” compilation.
In 1996, the band once again entered the studio to record its second assault entitled “Eternal Death”, which showed an even more focused and breathtaking approach. Its unique mixture of hellish riffing, blasting drums, mesmerizing melodies, ripping classic metal leads, killer vocals and possessed lyrics (just think of the epic 8min “The Black Heart” dedicated to Dead / Mayhem) turned “Eternal Death” into a catchy yet very dangerous and addictive album. It also featured a ravaging, reworked version of the 1991 penned pre-demo classic “Kill (The Priest)” which still is featured in the band’s live set. A video was made for the song “Angels Die”.
July 1997 was a rather unpleasant period in the band history as Christian glam-pop outfit CROWN OF THORNS forced the band to drop its name and shorten it to simply THE CROWN, but as disastrous this might look to outsiders, the group unflinchingly moved onward and never wavered from its mission of spread hell and terror! A first nasty little teaser as THE CROWN was issued with “The Poison” on the “Statements Of Intent” compilation (Wicked World Records), and a blasting cover of Sepultura’s hymn “Arise” appeared on the "Sepultural Feast" tribute album.
In January/February 1998, THE CROWN hit the road and raised some serious hell together with Sacriflege featuring Tomas Lindberg (ex At The Gates) and left a lasting impression at the Metal Blade Records-team (even after having a beer kicked in his face by singer Johan) and the band’s next album “Hell Is Here” (1999) followed. 11 ripping new tracks of death, darkness, destruction, revolution, violence, Satanism, war, drugs, Armageddon, sex, black magic and rock’n’roll. A perfect combination for a perfect album! During touring with Morbid Angel, Emperor, Impaled Nazarene etc. and even at Wacken Open Air the band played live as much as they could and kicked as many asses as they could find.
Just a year later, THE CROWN delivered “Deathrace King”, a monstrous album turning their death metal roots into the ultimate rock´n’roll Überbeast destroying everything in its way. Featuring Tomas Lindberg and Mika Luttinen as guest vocalists, “Deathrace King” was unanimously hailed in press and the European and American tour activities with Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Krisiun, Enslaved, Vomitory and others left clubs in ruin and audiences deaf and dead.
Unfortunately, in 2001 vocalist Johan Lindstrand quits the band, former At The Gates singer Tomas Lindberg steps in for the again, much celebrated “Crowned In Terror” (2002) yet drops out of the band already in the very same year due to personal differences. On 2003’s “Possessed 13”, Johan Lindstrand returns to the fold delivering another punishing performance resulting in a blistering album. Between October 2003 and February 2004, THE CROWN reworked “Crowned In Terror” with Johan Lindstrand on vocals releasing it posthumously as “Crowned Unholy”. However, THE CROWN had marched into the grave by then.
Five years later THE CROWN return fronted by Jonas Stålhammar (God Macabre, Bombs Of Hades…) presenting a formidable comeback record on their new label home Century Media Records with “Doomsday King” (2009) and after the departure of Jonas can convince the mighty Johan Lindstrand to torture his lungs again for the new album. “Death Is Not Dead” features guitarists Marko Tervonen and Robin Sörqvist (who replaced Marcus Sunesson in 2013), Magnus Olsfelt on bass, and the aforementioned Mr Lindstrand who (de)composed a incredibly pissed off and intense record full of raging riffs, thrashing speed and devastating death metal force. Song titles like “Headhunter”, “Speed Kills (Full Moon Ahead)”, “Herd Of Swine” are definitely far from being love songs, so, folks, get ready to join THE CROWN’s deathrace again and ride to f**king ruin…