Capture The Crown were a band often met with criticism. Their debut album, 2012’s ‘Til Death, was laced with some unnecessary profanity and sounded very much like Asking Alexandria – Sumerian Records (at the time, home of CTC)’ biggest cash cow. As a result, it was seen as uninteresting and many dismissed Capture The Crown as a miniature version of the band. They had no room for their Asking-esque use of electronics, profanity, party-themed songs and vocals. Since Asking Alexandria is also a heavily polarizing band, the similarity turned people off.
In time, the Australian metalcore band had enough of Sumerian and released an independently recorded EP, Live Life. It was a more mature and sincere effort, showing some signs of improvement and experimentation.
That ambitious, inventive attitude transcended into the making of their latest album, Reign of Terror. It seems that, finally, the band has found a sound they truly enjoy and feel at home in. It is also the first release from their new home label, Artery Recordings.
The title intro track kicks in fast and hard, setting the tone for the rest of the album. As it progresses to “Red Light District,” the energy keeps flowing. An anthemic chorus and solid vocals make it a successful opening track.
Pounding drums, breakdowns and vocals are all at play here, with each song balanced between chaotic and catchy. While the idea of their sound itself is a bit familiar amongst the metalcore crowd, CTC found ways to stand out on this release. Sometimes, it works well: closing song “Janina” is a soft ballad dedicated to a friend of the band that passed away. “Beating The Blade” is the most ambitious cut in terms of experimentation: an unexpected rap verse and electronics are among the techniques utilized. It is a bit out of place, but still, surprisingly, works.
Vocalist Jeffrey Wellfare has improved significantly since the band’s first release. Though his pipes were always consistent, he has stepped up on Reign of Terror. His sung parts were often used for pure pop choruses alone before, but this time around Wellfare gets to experiment so much more with his singing voice. “Smirk” and “Firestarter” showcase Wellfare is able to sing with meaning, and not just for pop-esque filler choruses. There is more depth, more emotion and more life behind his sung bits. Oh, and his screamed vocals are simply filthy on those two tracks as well.
Lyrically, the group have improved as well. ‘Til Death was an album chuck full of break-up anthems and even party songs. Reign of Terror displays more expansive lyrical content. Offering a hand to those who feel defeated (“Beating The Blade”), pointing fingers at fakes (“I Hate You”) and living life to the fullest (“To Whom It May Concern”) are among the ideas expanded on by the band.
Overall, the release is a significant step up from their first full-length. Reign of Terror unleashes a more refined, aggressive and more expansive Capture The Crown. It is an enjoyable listen for fans of metalcore and those who enjoy a bit of punch with sweet singing. Maybe this time, naysayers will realize what they have been missing.