Kingcrow_EidosIf there’s anyone to thank for this review of Kingcrow‘s Eidos, it would have to be our esteemed Steward King, Steel Druhm. This little piece of progressive mastery almost slipped through the cracks before the dreaded Scribe Hammer came crashing down on my checkerboard mahogany and human-flesh paneled desk. Said Hammer (and the tyrannical HR department) may be painful here at the AMG office, but without the necessary discipline, AMG writers would run amok and reviews would focus almost exclusively on 600-700 words of the exact nonsense you just read [That reminds me, report to HR.Steel Druhm]. Thankfully, our big-wigs wear big wigs and I’m happy to bring you a review for my pick of progressive-metal Record o’ the Year. For all the reasons I loved Anubis Gates‘ 2014 release, I find it very hard not to love Kingcrow‘s Eidos (also look at the fucking artwork!).

As their career progressed from the so-so flounderings of Something Unknown and Insider, Italy’s Kingcrow moved beyond trying to be “over-progressive” to developing something with substance and a focus on better songwriting. Driving toward a more accessible sound with 2010’s Phlegethon (which introduced Pink Floyd and Dream Theater influences, along with Dax Riggs vocal arrangements on tracks like “Numb” and “Washing Out Memories”) and new recruit, Diego Marchesi at the mic, the band finally found the identity they’ve been searching for since their inception in 1996. They continued this journey with 2013’s solid In Crescendo and are back again with their sixth full-length, Eidos.

With all the recap, there is really only one thing to say about Eidos. It trumps everything Kingcrow has ever done. They make this stunningly obvious with opener “The Moth” as it powers through lush Watershed-era Opeth-ic structures and when all seems on the brink of repetition, it transitions to a very catchy and clever “hand-clapping” interlude that gives the song memorability and allows it to finish strongly. The rest of the album utilizes this same philosophy across tracks that range in length from four to eight minutes. Each song pushes a riff to its limit before freshening it up with loads of staying power, but maintaining the essence of the song itself. Other examples of this strategy are “Adrift” and the title track. Both truly border on repetition but when the transitions occur, the songs morphs into something that you never thought could exist based on what came before.

Kingcrow_2015

Melodic favorites would have to be the beautiful “Open Sky” and “The Deeper Divide.” “Open Sky” slows the album way down after its upbeat and jazzy precursor; “Slow Down” and is filled to the brim with melancholy and orchestral builds that give Marchesi’s vocals ultimate power. “The Deeper Divide” is much the same except that its build comes in the form of chugging guitars and additive drumming that makes it a tough song to top. However, personal favorite “On the Barren Ground” does just that, being the heaviest, hookiest, and stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth song on the album, it delivers everything you could want in a single track from Kingcrow.

I have few gripes with Eidos. There are strong tracks and stronger tracks but I can’t convince myself to skip a single one as I careen through this sixty-minute gem. Many songs are long but they rarely feel that way (with the exception of “Adrift” and “Eidos”) and the flow of the album is better than anything the band has ever achieved. The only issue may be the slight unbalance across the album. It seems there are a lot of slower-paced numbers toward the back-half and this may be the reason “On the Barren Ground” stands out so much. The ups-and-downs of the opening tracks, along with the awesomely unique Orphaned Land-esque “Fading Out Pt. IV,” give the first half a high level of intoxication. However, the slower back-half does a decent job of dragging you deep into its web and the execution is breath-taking at times. The instrumentation is top-notch, the DR8 gives it the kind of warmth it needs (even though it could use more), and each listen exposes layers like peeling an onion. Last year I had Anubis Gate and Thine, but Edios satisfies all I need for a 2015 progressive record.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Sensory Records
Websites: KingcrowOfficial | Facebook.com/Kingcrow
Release Dates: EU: 2015.06.26 | NA: 06.23.2015

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  • kaeru92

    Finally a review that gets me excited !
    Last few albums that were reviewed left me really unimpressed.

  • Martin Knap

    I expected some puffy shirts on the promo picture, but otherwise I totally dig it.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      The hell?? More Italian prog metal??

      • Martin Knap

        oh yes, there are a few prog metal bands in Italy ;-)

        • BaboonKing

          I knew of Pathosray, and DGM is pretty good too… which other bands would you recommend?

          • Martin Knap

            I don’t know DGM, but they look promising. Other power prog band I know of is Secret Sphere and Labyrinth (they shared a member with Rhapsody) – they both are kind of similar to Angra. but I’m sure every Italian city has at least one power-prog band :-)

  • Dr. Scorpion

    wow.Wow.WOW.Simply wow!!!

  • This is actually a pretty great album. I didn’t really care about this band before, or this album as a matter of fact, but after listening to it a couple of times it’s pretty sweet. Can’t wait to see what they do next.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I’m with you. This is a big step forward for them. Hope they can keep the momentum up.

  • OzanCan

    First the band called Failure literally BLEW me AWAY! Now, this!
    Dear Doctors!
    I have no brains left because of you..
    Thanx \m//
    (gotta appreciate some black humor here)

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Only brain doctors here. We like to bash them out.

  • You had me at Anubis Gate.

  • I’ve had this in heavy rotation since I first heard it last week. This week? Whatever. It’s amazing.

  • This is an excellent album, and thanks to the commenters on AMG, I found the band. :) I never heard of them before visiting here. I’m totally blown away that this band isn’t more recognized….

    • Strepitous

      great album. How could I disagree with Nutty McSpazatron?

  • Worldeater

    The embedded track immediately got me hooked. Such a fine combination of sight and sound.
    Edit: Flac from the bandcamp digital release incoming!

  • Kronos

    I’m liking this. Also, looks like someon’s been listening to Idylls.

  • Requiem

    Beautiful vid and an awesome album <3

  • Kryopsis

    This is more or less what I expected from this year’s Leprous: it’s not that ‘The Congregation’ was particularly disappointing but it was a far cry from Bilateral. Meanwhile this Kingcrow album is so exciting! I am impressed by the level of musicianship and the wide array of influences ranging from Pink Floyd to something like Mogwai. I also find that the warm Mediterranean touches spice things up and really help the band establish their own identity.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Well said.

    • sir_c

      I think did an excellent job in staying on the right side of ‘cheese’, unlike many of other Italian prog bands. It’s crisp and full of joy, but still there’s plenty of metal.

  • Rob

    Halfway through that embedded song, some serious Porcupine Tree riffing going on!

  • JL

    Prog record of the year? Is this really better than the new Arena album?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Personally, I think it is.

      • robpal

        Question is: is it better than the new Pantommind or Arcane?

        • Roquentin

          I like it better than either of those two. Arcane is good, but not as good as their older releases and Pantommind sounds a bit bland from time to time. “Eidos” is a winner, though.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I have to agree. This album has stuck and won’t let up. That’s a winner in my book.

    • Wait….WHAT?! There’s a new Arena out?!?!?!

  • JL

    The hand clappy thing reminds me of porc pn tree i think a song from the album with gravity eyelids….forget the name. Stolen from there. Song wasnt bad though.

    • dinob0t

      The Porcupine Tree song you’re thinking of is Trains, from In Absentia.

  • Wilhelm

    I dig the embedded track; sounds very Opeth influenced in the way that it’s very progressive, very metal and very modern. I’m eager to check this album out.

    • Roquentin

      You got it backwards: it was Opeth that, with time, became more and more influenced with prog metal and heavy prog.

      • Wilhelm

        Yep, you’re correct, I thought this sounded similar to the newer Opeth stuff, at least within the same genre appeal. I’m not sure what I got backwards.

  • I hear a lot of Steven Wilson in this and a touch of Wolverine. This is an excellent album from a band I regret to admit that I’ve never heard of. By far, the best progressive album I’ve heard in a while! Hell yeah!

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    In Crescendo was AOTY 2013. Eidos is the perfect next step.

  • BaboonKing

    Glad to see this get such a glowing review. Great band, great record and a fine review (good job, doctor!).

    I would encourage anyone who liked this to check out their previous record, In Crescendo. Easily one of the finest prog releases in recent years.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I appreciate it. In Cresecendo is great.

  • itsmydamnation

    THIS IS AWESOME, never heard of them before until now

  • Steve

    Comparing them with Anubis Gate…. i’m interested

  • sssgadget

    Yes..finally the review is here. Incredible album. I love Kingcrow.

  • Zadion

    Holy shit, what a video.

  • Óðinn

    This is not the Metal I’m looking for. Good review though.

  • sir_c

    This band and Karnya are probably two of my most favourite Italian bands. I really, really enjoyed In Crescendo, so I’ll definitely check out their newest creation.

  • suicidal_orange

    It’s rare I comment on anything but since I downloaded this I keep hearing songs that sound so good it makes me turn off shuffle and on arriving at work 10 minutes or so later when I have time to work out what it was (Tera Player – no screen) it’s been this album. The year is young but this will surely be in my top 3, thanks for the tip!