August 14, 2014 Capture the Crown – Reign of Terror (Album review)
The heavy rock Aussies, Capture the Crown, have been a dominant presence in the music scene this year. After a strong EP release and lots of touring, Capture the Crown was on the road again on the Crowd Surf America Tour as their sophomore album, Reign of Terror, dropped. While their EP Live Life has its bouts of fun anthems and electronic tracks, Reign of Terror goes straight to business and holds nothing back. This evolution and the anger released from Capture the Crown’s new music brings them to a level that leaves them unbreakable.
As soon as the record starts, the introductory track opens the album violently with the words “This is the reign of terror.” The sudden rush of breakdowns and intensity place this unwavering tone on Reign of Terror without hesitation. This blasting intro flows right into “Red Light District”, another forceful track that is guided by harsh instrumentals. Growling screams and penetrating drumbeats keep the tempo consistent and heavy, making the hateful words scream even louder. The dark mood of Reign of Terror is strongly shown through the tracks’ instrumentals. Although the band sometimes softens up the track with a quite generic, smooth refrain, they diversify it with a constantly booming rhythm to let the listeners know that they mean business.
The track “Oxy Sunrise” has tastes of Live Life with its electronic accents, but intertwines the themed hateful and confrontational tone to continue on Reign of Terror’s path. Further into the album, the song “Firestarter” uses dark, distorted guitar riffs to command the breakdown. They also feel the need to repeat the lyric “This is the reign of terror” on it as well, in case the listener forgot, and to make up for the slightly calmer chorus they blended into the track.
This album is certainly a lot of bottled up emotions from Capture the Crown and if you can’t hear it in the music, you can hear it in the lyrics. The track called “To Whom It May Concern” calls out false heroes and fake leaders with words like “I refuse to follow your path / Refuse to live my life by the lies you’ve masked.” Anger pulses through almost every moment on this album. There is literally a song titled “I Hate You.” This very blunt track targets the same type of person (“I’m sick of watching you bullshit your way to the top / You’re a fake”). There is no doubt that this album has been born from the real and intense emotions of the band.
Although Reign of Terror capitalizes on the raw and hurtful feelings of loathing, the album holds a couple gems that show a different side of this aggressive band. “Beating the Blade” has softer words and instrumentals. It focuses clearly on the listeners, asking the ones who are sad and hurting to not give up. It cannot be ignored that this music scene is very focused on sending positive messages to listeners. Words like “There is more to life than this” are heartwarming and hopeful, but have been said in many different ways recently from bands in similar genres. They also namedrop themselves in the lyrics (“You gotta capture the crown and now its your chance”) which is a bit humorous. Nevertheless, you can always appreciate a song directed towards fans and listeners in need, and Capture the Crown does just that.
Finalizing Reign of Terror, the band surprises listeners again with “Janina.” This acoustic track begins as another generic move by them, but as the lyrics set the stage, your heart breaks as the words describe the hurt of losing someone you love. Anyone who has experienced the passing away of a friend, lover, or family member can easily connect to this somber closing track. This is quite the way to end such an emotionally driven record.
Reign of Terror is not just that, it is a reign of hatred, anger, fear, hurt, and raw emotion, making it an explosion in listeners’ ears. Although here and there they fall under some common categories, their uniqueness comes from their blunt and aggressive attitude, making Reign of Terror a beast in the music scene. Listeners looking for a soundtrack to blow off some steam too, make sure to check out this album. CrypticRock gives this record 3.5 out of 5 stars.