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Exclusive: The Crown Reveals New Album Status, Title, Song Titles

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The Crown 2013 a

Next week begins MetalSucks’ preview of 2014’s most-anticipated metal albums. That’s when we’ll uncover this year’s gems-to-be — the ones that might fly under the radars of even the most dedicated metalists.

For now, that radar is speckled by big upcoming releases from bombers like Behemoth, Slayer, and Mastodon; in the distance approaches a craft too hefty to slip past unsighted but unfamiliar to many eyes. It’s The Crown, the veteran death-thrashers set to unveil their first album in a decade with screamer Johan Lindstrand. Planned for 2012, then pushed to 2013 and still holding, The Crown’s eighth is unbearably late. So we checked in with Lindstrand for the latest on this follow-up to their trio of death n’ roll classics that started with Deathrace King (2000) and culminated with Possessed 13 (2003).

Though ten long years have passed since P13, The Crown, says Lindstand, has locked back into their tested ways: “The songs have come together in the same way since 24 years back. Marko [Tervonen, guitars] and Magnus [Osfelt, bass] have written separately before unveiling it to the rest of us.”

“Probably” to be titled Death Is Not Dead, the album will benefit from an unrushed creation process. “We’ve done this a couple of times now, and we don’t have any pressure or deadlines to follow,” says Lindstrand. “We’ve had lots of time to find those great tracks hidden in our inner self. I think the key to releasing good albums is to have time to really digest the songs and riffs that are written, to get a bit of distance from them before going ahead and releasing them. If a song is as good as it was a year ago, it’s probably good enough to end up on the album.”

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Backstage in Tokyo, 2013

That’s modest of Lindstrand; the magic of The Crown is that their songs sound better and more impressive with every passing year. The 11 or 12 new tracks we can anticipate a growing dependance on include “Headhunter,” “Iblis Bane,” “Horrid Ways,” and “Ride For Ruin.” But will we wait much longer for Death? Wasn’t it projected for release last year? Lindstrand: “Hehe, yeah, the plan was to release it in spring 2012 [in] Marko’s own words when he re-recruited me at the end of 2011. But shit got in the way, so to speak: A couple of important shows … as well as problems with the previous guitar player.”

Twice Lindstrand has stepped away from The Crown — once replaced by At The Gates’ Tomas Lindberg for 2002’s Crowned In Terror, then in 2010 by Jonas Stalhammer for Doomsday King — but their 2014 album will mark their first change to their guitarist corps. Joining Tervonen is Robin Sorqvist, whose enlistment solves a chemistry problem, hints Lindstrand: “[Sorqvist] has definitely contributed more energy and positive vibes [and] showed that he really wants to be a part of this amazing five-piece unit. He’s not only a great guitar player, but also a really good old friend; we’re on the same level on all things, which feels amazing.”

Current status of Death? Nearly complete, Linstrand reports. “There might be some more lyrics to write as well as arranging the leads, but … we’re pretty close to the end of the process. Me and Robin will probably start recording our stuff any time now.”

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