A new band born from the ashes of punk group Taras, Ivy Crown rise with resurgence in their debut album Echo. Fusing metalcore with melody, Echo is an album that doesn’t seek to overwhelm you with wailing cries and deafening screams (although there are more than enough of those). It is a journey of loneliness that ends on a note of freedom, the Danish quartet proving their metal with an accomplished and absorbing debut album.
The album takes little time to throw you into the dark crevasses of the band’s creativity. Fans of metalcore will find plenty to relish, but it is easier to appreciate the occasionally slower, more lyrically-driven approach that the band take. Lead singer Maria Kjær provides a powerful leading force for each and every track. As the words detail experiences of loneliness and doomed relationships, Kjær’s vocals have more than a feeling of pain about them.
Echo doesn’t have the electricity of something strikingly fresh, but the songs transition so neatly into one another that it makes for a great experience. Featuring exciting changes in pace and ferocity, the dark undertones of the songs never falter even when the music is a bit more upbeat. Worst Days is a prime example of this, and is something of an oddity in the album. It is hardly a happy-go-lucky whistling tune, but is a bit lighter and more positively charged that the other songs in the album, at times almost drifting away from metalcore altogether. This more unique song is unlikely to be to everyone’s tastes, and is followed up immediately by Bad Dream, which tosses you straight back into the heavier side of things. It is a welcome return, for this is where Ivy Crown are at their most impressive.
The album moves at a fast pace – the longest track is well under four minutes – and there are brief moments of utter wonder to be found in almost every song. Forgotten Me features a starring turn from guitarist Natasja Stormly. She proves to be the memorable take-away from the album’s penultimate track, a track that marks the end of a journey from being lonely to being erased from people’s memories, with only your own voice for company. The final track, Rising, has a more optimistic feeling to it, providing reassurance that such journeys are by no means the end of the road.
Ivy Crown’s debut is a strong one. While there could be more of an original feeling to the album, it leaves you longing for more of the same. Their melodic, more lyrical take on metalcore works a treat and proves the perfect way to show off the impressive talent that the band have at their disposal.