Microdose: Stygian Crown, The Hallowed Catharsis, Reboot the System & Death Courier

Written by ColinMetal

And for my next trick, I’ll be doing a microdose. There’s a lot of good metal out lately and I had something to say about several releases, so I figured I’d try the microdose this week. My picks for this week don’t really have a common theme, they’re just albums I enjoyed over the past week.

  • Artist: Stygian Crown
  • Album: Stygian Crown
  • Genre: Doom/Traditional
  • Release Date: June 26, 2020
  • Country: USA
  • Highlights: The Whole Album
  • Rating: 8/10

Verdict: Stygian Crown is an up and coming traditional doom metal band from SoCal. Combining death metal style instrumentation with soaring clean vocals, Stygian Crown makes doom reminiscent of the legendary Solitude Aeternus and the like. This album is 51 minutes of unrelenting heaviness. Stygian Crown have a consistent sound throughout the record, but that sound never becomes tiresome. The vocal performance is fantastic and the instruments, specifically the guitars, match that to craft a great doom record. Stygian Crown have made a promising debut, and I’ll be watching for future releases from this band.

  • Artist: The Hallowed Catharsis
  • Album: Killowner
  • Genre: Technical Death Metal
  • Release Date: June 2, 2020
  • Country: Canada
  • Highlights: The Whole EP
  • Rating: 9.5

Verdict: Next up is The Hallowed Catharsis’ new EP, Killowner. Lately I’ve been in a rut with tech death. Admittedly, I’ve not listened to much technical death metal as of late. However, I decided to give The Hallowed Catharsis’ new release a shot because I’ve always heard good things about the band. I was instantly impressed with the EP. The jazzy intro on “Abduction Sequence” hooked me immediately. The EP is only 14 minutes long, but it never compromises brutality. The instrumentation is technical without being overly technical, which is what usually determines my opinion on tech death bands and albums. The Hallowed Catharsis have crafted one of the best tech death releases I’ve heard in a while with less than fifteen minutes of music. I’ll definitely be going through the rest of their discog.

  • Artist: Reboot the System
  • Album: Demo
  • Genre: Melodic Death Metal / Thrash Metal 
  • Release Date: April 24, 2020
  • Country: Sweden
  • Highlights: Reboot the System, Drenched In My Fears, Iniquity
  • Rating: 8.5

Verdict: Reboot the System is a melodic death metal band from Sweden. Formed this year, the band has put together a four-track demo to show their prowess. The thrashy death metal on this demo has melodies that will hook you instantly. The track “Drenched in My Fears” features clean vocals that fit the music well and don’t feel forced. The tremolo-picked intro on “Iniquity” is melodic and ominous. The chorus on the track also slows down but maintains the raw emotion on the rest of the demo. My only complaint is that I want more. The demo is less than fifteen minutes, and the intro track is a short, instrumental piece that does fit well but makes the listener want more music. I can’t wait to see an EP or full length from these guys in the future.

  • Artist: Death Courier
  • Album: Necrotic Verses
  • Genre: Death Metal (Old School)
  • Release Date: June 5, 2020
  • Country: Greece
  • Highlights: The Whole Thing
  • Rating: 8.5

Verdict: The final album of my first microdose is from Greek death metallers Death Courier. Necrotic Verses is a 34-minute album full of furiously fast death metal. The album is straight up death metal that never lets up on the brutality. Even the interlude is unsettling, with high pitched guitars and deep vocalizations that turn into ominous guitar riffing. The album art contributes to the eerie and cavernous feel that is created throughout the album. Death Courier, with Necrotic Verses, have successfully created a sound that is reminiscent of old school death metal while still containing enough modern elements to be interesting. This band has been around since the late 80s, but Necrotic Verses shows they’re nowhere near throwing in the towel.

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