Ok, a few years ago I was turned onto Kingcrow when I reviewed In Crescendo, and in the time since, it has actually turned out to be my most listened to album from that year. I do my best to spread the word and push this wondrous band onto as many people as possible, but they still just don’t seem to have grown in fandom with the general circles I hang around in, so I’m here to try again. Fortunately for me, the band has done the courtesy of putting out an album that might even top their 2012 effort. In fact, Eidos just might be the best album released this year, of course time will tell, but I quiver with excitement to think of anything better than this all around brilliant production. Retaining the same lineup from In Crescendo of Diego Marchesi on vocals, Diego Cafolla and Ivan Nastasi on guitars, Thundra Cafolla on drums, Christian Della Polla on keys, and Francesco D’Errico on bass, the Italian prog metallers bust out with some sheer brilliance on their sixth album, the conceptually driven Eidos.
Opening up with the pre-release single The Moth, the album quickly shows its base sound, an eclectic mixture of prog and metal, but not quite prog metal in the traditional sense. By showing instrumental capability without showing it off with unnecessary wankery, Kingcrow falls right in that special middle zone occupied by the likes of Porcupine Tree and Riverside.Though they do experiment with sounds, like on the techno-muffled Slow Down, they never sound as if they’re experimenting, all the work comes across as polished and professional. As to the concept, Slow Down also delivers the heart of it, a typical scenario of us as a race being too absorbed in our technology and being pulled in deeper and deeper. The depth of the concept will take many more listens for me to fully absorb, as most of the best concept albums do.
The middle tracks, especially the acoustic essenced Fading Out Pt.4 and the power house On the Barren Ground give a perfect transition to the ending tracks of the album, keeping the listener glued even after many, many spins. The complexity and variations in the guitar work, the stunning and inviting vocals, and the sensational drums really take a hold and don’t let go. The highest points are in the longer and more drawn out final numbers though, where the band has a chance to really play in a park they are so comfortable in. The title track Eidos has the tone of an epic, really driving home the myriad aspect that make Kingcrow such a solid band. If Only closes the album in style, a long drawn out melodic and atmospheric section that builds into a brutal tour-de-force, shutting down on a dime as if the plug had been pulled. It’s one of those rare moments that reminds me why I love music to begin with.
They hit, perfectly, on all cylinders. I will go on a limb actually and say that there are no mistakes on this album, from songwriting to execution to production, Kingcrow has delivered a perfect album, and we are the beneficiaries of this hard work. I can only do so much though, to really understand, you need to buy it, so stop reading, spend the cash, and thank the band (and me) later.