UnCrowned are a 5-piece metal band from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. The origins of the band go back to 2014 when Dave Smith and Dave Hills, two guitar players, decided to write music together. They had met while playing in metal bands in the St. Albans area. Finding other musicians in the local area through word-of-mouth, UnCrowned gradually found a steady line-up by 2016 with the additions of vocalist Prash Sarma, James Cormack on bass, and Luke Goodchild on drums.
Since 2016, UnCrowned has been gigging in their local area and writing their debut. The band spent most of 2019 in the studio recording their self-titled debut album with Tim Kramer of Signal House Studios. With the first single, ‘Devil’s Thirst’, released on Halloween in 2019, UnCrowned is now gearing up to release the album in its entirety. Two more singles, ‘Knock it Back’ and ‘Kindred’ are planned for release before the entire album is released on Boxing Day.
Clearly paying their ‘dues’, it’s time for UnCrowned to unleash their debut album and you can immediately tell this is the work of a band who have put the time in. It glowers with metal intensity, full of groove-infused death metal. The five-piece burst forth as though their lives depend upon it with the title track.
Speedy riffing, drums that aren’t so much hit as they are smashed, deep cuts from the bass and a vocalist that is either going to destroy his voice or our ears.
A banging (literally) start. The energy is kept just as high for the aptly titled Berserk. UnCrowned keeping us waiting for the expected eruption just a short amount of time and then delivering a track that could get a room full of corpses head-banging along.
Stand Your Ground is just as hot and heavy, the vocals getting really up close and personal here. Before we get some levity with the fantastic Chrysalis as something akin to clean vocals pick up in the chorus. The variation isn’t demanded but it’s certainly not unwelcome either. In fact, it’s downright thrilling to hear.
Talking of variation, For Hurry is the most mellow track on the album, at least for around half its run-time. It does get a bit louder and headier as it develops but leaves it up to the guitars to lead the way as it’s an instrumental.
Normal service resumes for Kindred, with hyperactive and face-melting heaviness. Hiding in Shadows, with its rhythmically interesting start that erupts into a blazing fire of groove and meaty riffs. Thrill of the Chase with what starts off as a fairly straight-forward UnCrowned beastly listen before reaching depths of heaviness not heard elsewhere.
It’s the kind of ‘lose your mind’ music that opens up many a circle pit and doesn’t disappoint as Prudence and Knock It Back end things on high. The former dropping in the clean singing again alongside some massively groovy riffs and the latter going all out for a dark and very heavy but classy finish.
A hell of a debut album. Watch out, UnCrowned are here.
UnCrowned – UnCrowned Full Track Listing:
1. Devil’s Thirst
3. Stand Your Ground
5. For Hurry
7. Hiding in Shadows
8. Thrill of the Chase
10. Knock It Back
UnCrowned - Devil's Thirst (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10