There’s nothing quite like a band that consistently delivers. Kingcrow is one of those bands that just keeps getting better. I’ve loved their last three albums, but “The Persistence” takes it up a notch once again. The album releases on September 7th, and every prog fan worldwide needs to be paying attention.
The band hails from Italy and consists of Diego Marchesi on vocals, Diego Cafolla and Ivan Nastasi on guitars, Thundra Cafolla on drums, Cristian Della Polla on keys, and Riccardo Nifosi on bass. Daniel Gildenlöw from Pain of Salvation also guests on one track. These players are massively successful together, as you will note in the interplay between the roaring guitar work, the active bass lines, the thundering drums, and the atmospheric keys that wind in and around everything else. These guys play so well together, and their minds seem united, especially on this album.
Kingcrow’s style is somewhere between progressive rock and metal. I would call them “heavy prog”. Many of their songs are light and airy, with lots of ambience and atmosphere, and you will hear many keyboard and electronic accents that give the music more personality. Other songs rock harder and are pretty technical, though they never really get into “riff mode”, so I wouldn’t ever quite label them as metal. Still, some of their music is fairly heavy, and the instrumentals hit hard and fast.
One aspect of their music, which has always reminded me of Pain of Salvation, is the stark and heavy emotional content. The lyrics and their delivery have always been very expressive, and this album continues that with some truly glorious moments where your heart will be calling out to the skies. The fact that the choruses are written very well also helps Diego latch onto these wonderful melodies in order to focus more on expressive vocals than on difficult or bland tunes. On this album specifically, it seems like these emotional climaxes hit a satisfying nerve in my head.
It is nearly impossible to choose favorites on this album. “The Persistence” is incredibly consistent in quality, soaking you in emotion and melody from start to finish. All throughout, the guitar work is impeccable, with wonderful soloing and dark riffing; the keys are glorious, with lots of atmosphere and a certain cinematic flair; and the rhythm section keeps things moving and interesting. Diego’s vocals top the package with soaring passion.
Let me go over a few of the tracks that stand out in my mind currently, though. “Drenched” is a fantastic opener with an amazing chorus, and transitions into “Closer”; a grittier, darker song with this low burning emotional side to it. It ends up being one of the heaviest songs on the album, too. “Everything Goes” is a bit effervescent and airy, with some electronic influence to set it apart well. The chorus is absolutely emotional and glorious. “Folding Paper Dreams” is another low burning song with grit and melancholy. It feels desperate to stop the loss.
The second half seems to get even stronger, though. The title track arrives in progressive and dark fashion. This song rocks hard, but the vocal harmony in the second half is so beautiful and sincere. “Every Broken Piece of Me” is a subtle song that ends up launching into a wonderfully shadowy instrumental with blunted keys and buzzing guitars. “Night’s Descending” features Daniel from PoS, and is therefore understandably amazing. The interplay between Daniel’s awesomely restrained verses and Diego’s explosive emotions in the chorus is simply priceless. Even though I love Daniel’s voice something fierce, I believe that Diego overshadows him a bit here. Even so, “Father” might actually be my favorite on the album. Its high octane emotions catch me by surprise every time, and the amazing instrumental near the end solidifies its place in my mind.
“The Persistence” is Kingcrow’s crowning achievement thus far. It is progressive and dark, yet hopeful and passionate. It offers musical prowess while also pulling at our heartstrings. While some bands may disappoint after being in the game for several albums, Kingcrow has shown once again that they have real chemistry and inspiration.
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