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June 2020
Album review

London's Crows have taken flight with their long-awaited debut

Both a perfect introduction to the group and a perfectly-pitched progression for the faithful.
Label: Balley Records
Released: 22nd March 2019
Rating: ★★★★
London's Crows have taken flight with their long-awaited debut
Published: 10:08 am, March 18, 2019Words: Jamie MacMillan.

Freshly signed to IDLES Joe’s record label after a long period of wondering whether they would ever get here, London’s Crows have finally taken flight with their long-awaited debut. Delving into the mind of frontman and lyricist James Cox, it is both a perfect introduction to the group and a perfectly-pitched progression for the faithful.

As the opening title track rumbles in on a huge and heavy riff, it is an uncompromising welcome to their world. Spikes of Steve Goddard’s guitar leap out of a gargantuan slab of noise rock, a song so impossibly heavy as it reaches its crescendo that it feels like a mountain has just landed on your skull and jumped around for a while. 

From there, the opening half is traditional Crows at their best. ‘Demeanor’ is fast and ferocious, the equivalent of several hundred buckets of ice cold water thrown in your face. Album highlight ‘Empyrean’ meanwhile, sees the foursome shift up and down the gears with elements of psych rock drifting through this metaphysical journey through Dante’s Inferno and Mexican drug cartels, jagged tendrils of sonic power emerging from within.

If the first half is the perfect summation of what makes the band such a vital, and deadly, live presence, then the latter parts of ‘Silver Tongues’ sees them try out some new threads. ‘Chain of Being’ starts with a flurry of pounding drums before a devastating, gripping motorik beat rushes in. A dream state is reached with the brooding ‘First Light // False Face’, holding you tightly in its death grips, noise levels swelling around the vocals as the final tracks crash into each other in a glorious flurry of riffs. A flight worth waiting for.


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