The old cliche of ‘the difficult second album’ syndrome has diminished somewhat drastically of late, as modern bands more and more turn in sophomore releases just as consistent as their debuts (see letlive., Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino et al for some recent examples). Texas sextet, Crown The Empire, join the ranks of those bucking the trend, with ‘The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways’ upping the ante tenfold with what is an arena ready lesson in metalcore theatrics and age-defying aplomb.
Indeed, not content with clearing the hurdle of album number two, ‘The Resistance…’ is a conceptually anchored melodramatic thrill ride of the most ambitious order. A tightly knit narrative saves us from any overblown, progressive tedium, and from the spine snapping aggression of ‘MNSTR’ and ‘Bloodline’, the sumptuous, call to arms majesty of ‘The Phoenix Reborn’ through to the title-track’s widescreen chorus hooks, this is a full-length which is ferociously current yet, amid its apocalyptically compelling dramatics, a thoroughly individual delight.
Welcomely side-stepping the all too habitual menace of pretentious meandering, the quirky carnival-isims of closer ‘Johnny’s Rebellion’ prove to enthrall rather than drag with a pertinent up-keeping of breakdown violence, and it’s a fantastic counterbalance between some Panic! At The Disco thespian turmoil, the storytelling enterprise of Black Veil Brides and its punishing metalcore blood thirst which ultimately gives ‘The Resistance…’ its nailed on modern classic status.
With a rather cloying ‘Millennia’ taking a couple of steps too far into overwrought balladry, the band fall just short of a home run, yet for the most part Crown The Empire have placed a rather irresistible bid for rock monster stardom with ‘The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways’. Expertly constructed, shrewdly en-vogue and with enough Hollywood histrionics to make My Chemical Romance sound like Black Flag, Crown The Empire encompass all the big ideas and song writing know how required of future scene leaders.
Written by Tony Bliss