Following the success of a debut full-length album can be a daunting task for younger artists. Crown the Empire is no exception. With their breakthrough release The Fallout launching the Dallas, Texas act onto last year’s Van’s Warped Tour as well as the Take Action Tour with the Used and We Came as Romans, it remains to be seen if this group can reach the heights of fellow Rise Records’ artists Memphis May Fire and Of Mice & Men.
Hitting stores Tuesday is Crown the Empire’s new concept album, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways and with the hopes of reigning in metalcore’s new leading men, we gave the album a listen to gauge whether or not it hit its mark.
Divided into three separate acts, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways has really upped the theatrical ante from last year’s release, The Fallout. Known to add a little showmanship to their music, Crown the Empire has really outdone themselves this time around.
Starting off with the eerie and climactic intro “A Call to Arms (Act I),” the stage was set for a metalcore thrill ride. Next up was the band’s lead single “Initiation.” This hard-hitting track definitely offers vibes similar to The Fallout – which isn’t a bad thing. Complete with accompanying sirens in the background, “Initiation” presents plenty of moments to lose yourself in blistering breakdowns. Then, like an unexpected curveball, “Millenia” calms things down with an almost Pierce the Veil-like sound conveyed through lead vocalist Andy Leo’s clean vocals.
As we progress through the passionate track “Machines,” we find ourselves entering into “The Wolves of Paris (Act II).” Comparable to the album’s opener, “The Wolves of Paris (Act II)” brings the eerie level up a notch with unnerving wolf growls and ghostly piano playing. Followed by the explosive tune of “MNSTR” and the not-so-explosive “Second Thoughts,” we are transported to the very fascinating “Maniacal Me.” Deserving of multiple listens, “Maniacal Me” starts off with an infectious intro of frenzied drum beats paired with violent guitar strumming. As soon as Leo’s ghastly vocals kicked in, we realized we had just discovered our favorite song on the album.
Rounding out with the string-heavy “Satellites (Act III),” the genre-defying and ultra-aggressive “Rise of the Runaways” and the upbeat-headbanging-palooza that is “Bloodline,” we are left with the album’s final two tracks. Not one to spoil a great ending, we are leaving the final two tracks out of this review. All we can tell you is that the names of the tracks are “The Phoenix Reborn” and “Johnny’s Rebellion” and they will not disappoint. Trust us.
Finally reaching the end of the album, we found ourselves offering a standing ovation. Crown the Empire’s courage to try something new with the potential of tarnishing their up-and-coming careers is remarkable. They very easily could have played this album safe and put out some copy-cat record we’ve all heard dozens of times. Instead, they took it to the extreme and we’re positive you’ll love them even more for it. Bravo Crown the Empire, bravo.
- “A Call to Arms (Act I)”
- “The Wolves of Paris (Act II)”
- “Second Thoughts”
- “Maniacal Me”
- “Satellites (Act III)”
- “Rise of the Runaways”
- “The Phoenix Reborn”
- “Johnny’s Rebellion”