New Music Mondays: Crown the Empire, The Damned and More!

Another more reserved but stacked week of New Music Mondays. Without any putting off, let’s dive in!

Crown the Empire: Dogma

Max: What can I say, this album was great. It had odd moments where I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not but over the last few days, I have grown to love every song on the album. Whilst every track on the album had something for everyone, with the intensity of the screams throughout to the features from Courtney LaPlante (Spiritbox) and Remington Leith (Palaye Royale), there was one song in particular that stole the show for me, ‘Labyrinth’. The hook going in to the chorus is outstanding and the screams throughout the song are incredibly good. With all this in mind it is a solid 10/10 for me. It scratched every itch.

The Damned: Darkadelic

Punk legends The Damned put out their 12th studio album and first in half a decade last week. It’s alright. They’re one of the few bands I haven’t ever really gotten around to checking out from the scene, and with their acclaim I honestly expected a tad more. I like the slightly darker edge to it at times, being closer to Misfits than The Ramones. Tracks like ‘You’re Gonna Realise’ and ‘Waking the Dead’ were highlights for me, but it all felt just a little tamer than I was expecting. There were some good riffs, but maybe it was just a bit too British for me. 6.5/10

Kip Moore: Damn Love

Country time, and it’s early this week! Damn Love is slow, let’s get that out there straight away. Anyone expecting something closer to The Cadillac Three or Brothers Osbourne or even ‘Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck’, this isn’t that. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of tracks that could almost be considered upbeat, like ‘Kinda Bar’. However the rest is slow, emotional ballad country. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as ‘Sometimes She Stays’ and ‘One Heartbeat’ are two of the best tracks in this sort of genre I have heard in a while. But nearly an hour of it definitely got boring. It reminded me more of slower Springsteen or Adams than a country artist. The fun seems to have left country a lot this year, most is so depressing and slow! 6/10

Defiled: The Highest Level

Max: This album definitely showed off the stamina of the drummer very very well. The drummer just wouldn’t relax at all which was great. Other than this though the album was good but there was nothing too exceptional throughout. The vocals definitely grew on me and after checking out their earlier work it is clear to me that they are getting better and better so I am excited to see what they will do in the future as I think they have the capability to be very very good. 7/10

Redshift: Laws of Entropy

We’ve already covered this awesome album! Check out the review here.

Chrome Waves: Earth Will Shed its Skin

Max: This album had some interesting things I must say but overall it wasn’t for me. The guitars and drums were very very good and the unclean vocals were good fun. There was definite complexity to the album with a variety of things happening through its 40 minutes. However there was something about the mix of the clean vocals that I didn’t enjoy, especially with ‘Under the Weight of a Billion Souls’. It would be interesting to hear this album live as I don’t think that the issue is with the vocals themselves. 6/10

Andrew Swift: Lightening Strikes and Neon Nights

More slower country, though this album has a bit more of a rock edge to it. It also has that 80s soft rock vibe to it like Kip did, but more emphasis on the ‘rock’ part. The choruses are big and stadium-filling. It all feels vaguely folk-indie-rock, almost like Band of Horses or Cold War Kids. It’s still country though, on top of all of that, and a really enjoyable album. ‘Young Lovers’, ‘The Question’ and ‘The Good Old Days’ are all huge highlights. However, there isn’t a bad track on the album. I couldn’t take the smile off my face listening to it, it was chilled out, fell good country and I’d LOVE to see it live. 8/10

Ignea: Dreams of Lands Unseen

Max: Firstly the switch between the first track in to the second is amazing. as for the rest of the album there is a lot to enjoy from the Ukranian band. For me the clean vocals and the orchestral parts really stole the show but it is easy to see how it would be the intensity and precision of all of the instruments or the harsh unclean vocals that draw you in. There really is a lot for people in this album. I would say that it is most certainly worth the listen and they deserve a lot of recognition as it is clear how much work and passion went in to this album. 9/10

Enforced: War Remains

Time to go back to my teenage years with some thrash/death, and a damn good version of it, too. I haven’t heard of this band before but they for sure have a new fan in me. Right from the start with ‘Aggressive Menace’ it was just over half an hour of speedy, heavy excellence. Single ‘Hanged by my Hand’ is also amazing, as is the title track and ‘Empire’. My only one request would have been to have a ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ slower track, but this album was a short enough shot of pure adrenaline that I didn’t mind too much. 8/10, great stuff!

Gord Bamford: Fire It Up

The closest thing to mainstream country we have this week. It’s very Chris Young/Cole Swindell in the best ways. Tracks like the title one, ‘Hair of the Honky Tonk Dog’ and ‘Sober in a Drinkin’ Song’ are all huge highlights. It’s hard to say much about the album as it’s exactly what you’d expect. It’s good, full of great songs, and just good fun country. Even the slower closing ballad is great. One for us to watch, for sure, as I hadn’t heard of him before now. 8.5/10