The Crown: Johan Lindstrand (vocals); Marko Trevonen, Marcus Sunesson (guitar); Magnus Olsfelt (bass); Janne Saarenpaa (drums).
Additional personnel: Tomas Lindberg, Mika Vitun Luttinen.
Recorded between November 3, 1999 and January 4, 2000.
Personnel: Johan Lindstrand (vocals); Marcus Sunesson, Marko Tervonen (guitar); Janne Saarenp„„ (drums).
Recording information: Studio Fredman, Gothenburg, Sweden (11/03/1999-01/04/2000).
The title Deathrace King and the back cover's "Born to Race!" credo are early clues. Throw the disc on though and all suspicions will be confirmed by the snare drum's classic hardcore sound: speed is the impetus and Deathrace King is pure killer thrash. The term "thrash" might sound like a relic of the '80s but the Crown are a throwback, the thrash/speed metal spirit infusing their muddy, underground sound. Taking thrash to an extreme, the death metal movement upped the ante on tempos and vocals; tracks like "Devil Gate Ride" and "Back From the Grave" as well as aspects of Johan Lindstrom's growl make it clear that the Crown listened. However, the more overarching influence of titans like Kill 'Em All-era Metallica and early Megadeth is very discernable. More traditionally, some revved-up Maiden even makes its way into the mix, an influence that, along with the Crown's Swedish pedigree, probably accounts for the sparse guitar solos' more melodic turns. The Crown would do well on a bill with Sepultura and Kreator circa 1988 (if that could be arranged) -- the only problem would come from the audience's indecision whether to headbang or start a circle pit. ~ Matthew Kantor
CMJ (6/19/00, p.33) - "...[The album's] Satanic death metal is anything but standard. Even the most impossible-to-impress metalloids are calling it a benchmark for the band..."