Ivy Crown – Echo (Album Review)

King Diamond. Mercyful Fate. Volbeat. All killer bands, all from Denmark. Now, it is time for the men to move over so that the Danish ladies can rock! Melodic Metalcore outfit Ivy Crown are prepared to ascend the throne with their debut disc, Echo, which arrives on October 25th, thanks to Long Branch Records.

Copenhagen, Denmark’s Ivy Crown might be prepared to deliver their debut, but these ladies already know a lot about Rock-n-Roll. A phoenix that has arisen from the ashes of the all-female Punk band Taras, these hard rocking women have already toured Europe and had their own episode on Danish national television. Taking their previous experiences — including two standalone singles, 2017’s “Timeout” and “Enemy” — their myriad of musical influences, and shifting to a darker sound, Ivy Crown — Guitarist Natasja, Bassist Maria E, Drummer Sara, along with new Vocalist Maria K — have built something that is uniquely their own, and they’re ready to deliver it to the world on the highly-anticipated Echo.

The 9-song Echo was recorded and produced by Chris Kreutzfeldt (Ghost Iris, MØL) with assisting vocal production from Mirza Radonjica-Bang. While Ivy Crown bill themselves as Melodic Metalcore, the collection presents a well-rounded band who are more the bastard lovechild of Alternative Rock and Hard Rock, with gentle synth work and growls that do call to mind modern Metalcore. In short, their sound is an amalgamation of heaviness and Punk attitude, one that sees these ladies rocking out for the album’s duration but never falling squarely into one genre classification.

The album kicks off to the massively infectious “Lonesome And Cold,” which features guest vocals from Kim Song Sternkopf of fellow Danish band MØL. Here, crunchy guitars blast alongside heavy bass, creating an entrancing yet dark narrative. A song about the inner-struggles of an addict, a battle that is oft ‘lonesome and cold,’ this starts off the collection with a bang that flows perfectly into the moody rocker “Run,” a fight for survival and freedom.

Sludgy bass throbs into hard rocker “It’s A Hell,”  before the ladies turn toward the initially down-tempo “That’s What You Do.” However, as the tension builds, the track eventually explodes into a fiery feature performance from Jesper Gün of Denmark’s Ghost Iris, who complements Maria’s melodies beautifully. Turning toward a catchier vibe, “Our Worst Days” goes for a toe-tapping, hip-swaying beat that will have fans singing along instantly.

Next, guest vocalist Kadeem France of British Metal outfit Loathe dishes up a vicious whirlwind that leads into the soaring melodies of “Bad Dream.” This moves perfectly into the gritty “Won’t Change a Thing,” a blend of crunchy guitars and initially sweet, melodic vocals that go into guttural growls of howling angst. Then, sludgy bass entrances the listener on “Not Who We Are” as we reach our conclusion, “Rising.” Ultimately, these hard rocking women seek to recover from a truly universal feeling, that of a broken heart, in this final, atmospheric rocker that closes out a great debut with heavy feels.

Ivy Crown has a sound that is steeped in a classic feel, one that flawlessly combines Alternative Rock and Hard Rock, heavy guitar hooks, grit and attitude; a sound that could easily see them touring alongside the varied likes of Halestorm, News Years Day, Papa Roach, or even Volbeat and Bullet For My Valentine. Yes, they growl here and there, and sure, they have something Punk Rock embedded deep into their riot grrl souls, but Echo is chock-full of infectious hooks that can sit perfectly alongside any of today’s hard rocking favorites, Metal or otherwise. Celebrating a solid debut from this talented Danish quartet, Cryptic Rock give Ivy Crown’s Echo 4 of 5 stars.

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