What I've always admired about Kingcrow, with each new release, is their association with the progressive scene, but without ever succumbing to tried-and-tested prog genericism. There's nothing "for the sake of" within their compositional pot; just incredible songwriting. I've commented in a review of one of their previous albums that they're progressive but without ever seemingly trying to be progressive. With their music, more and more as the band have progressed themselves, it's all about the song. This is at the forefront. Stylistic choices they use to colour their sonic canvas are secondary to the song itself. They draw on elements of ambient music, metal, rock, post-rock, a little electronica, etc. to emphasise emotions with their songs, rather than to lead and dominate their compositions. It's what makes them such a fresh and exciting prospect within the so-called "progressive scene". Think the likes of Wolverine and Katatonia... two very different bands, and also different from Kingcrow... but, these Italians are of a similar ilk, in that "progressive" is more an attitude towards creating music for them, rather than a regurgitative genre or established sound.
So then, new album 'The Persistence', the band's seventh, is everything that's always made Kingcrow so spectacular... and with continued natural progression. It holds a predominant Kingcrow charm that's characterised their previous work, but they've also taken their aesthetic into fresh territory... and in organic, natural sounding ways, that aren't ever forced or contrived. Unlike 80% of the so-called progressive scene's bands that are, in actuality, regressive. Guitarist Diego Cafolla remains an incredible songwriter.
Concluding their "Life" trilogy of albums with their last full-length offering, 'Eidos', it seems 'The Persistence' is something of a fresh start. And that's right there to be heard in the new songs, albeit, as I've already noted, still anchored in the Kingcrow charisma and melancholic allure that's always made their music so emotionally appealing. And the emotions run as deep on this one - mainly through melancholy with varying degrees of brooding darkness, but also with surprising bursts of euphoric optimism. In fact, the album opens in such a manner, with 'Drenched' a rather upbeat number. Vocalist Diego Marchesi has one of those expressive voices that seems to be able to express so much affective depth with apparent ease. A beautiful voice.
Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenl÷w appears with a guest spot, providing his inimitable vocals on 'Night's Descending'. Interestingly, the press info I had through with the album promo fails to mention this fact... hmmm... I would've thought this would've been one to push, considering the global and perennial popularity of Gildenl÷w's band. Oh well, it was a nice surprise, and I'm sure all discerning prog aficionados will be able to immediately identify his contribution.
Just over three years since the release of 'Eidos', it's fantastic to have Kingcrow back with yet another incredible platter of emotionally drenched music. And with their forthcoming European tour throughout September, as main support to Pain of Salvation, including a couple of UK shows, it's a rather delicious pairing of bands that should be one for the gigging calendars of all innovative music enthusiasts.
Review by Mark Holmes
7th Sept 2018
3) Everything Goes
4) Folding Paper Dreams
5) The Persistence
6) Every Broken Piece of Me
7) Devil's Got a Picture
8) Night's Descending
10) Perfectly Imperfect
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...it seems 'The Persistence' is something of a fresh start. And that's right there to be heard in the new songs, albeit...still anchored in the Kingcrow charisma and melancholic allure that's always made their music so emotionally appealing."