Music Review—Crown

Artist: For I Am King
Album: Crown

Dutch metal band, For I Am King, will be releasing third album Crown on January 19th, 2023.  Two of the songs from the album, “Disciples” and “Liars” are already available and have lyric videos on the band’s YouTube.

For I Am King was formed in 2013, and the band describes their sound as modern, complex, furious (but catchy) metal with hypnotic melodies.

Of the album, front woman Alma Alizadeh says, “Our previous album ‘I’ was a metaphor about power.  In terms of themes, ‘Crown’ is a logical continuation of that.  I find it interesting to see that rulers, like a classical king for example, can long count on the support and loyalty of their subjects; their disciples.  Even when he becomes a megalomaniac because of his crown that gives him absolute power that makes him feel untouchable.  By now, history has frequently shown how that ends: he misbehaves, abuses his omnipotence for horrible purposes – “Hail The King, For I Am King ”.  Despite this, his disciples remain loyal to him for a long time; they even worship and love him.  But eventually things end badly as his people stop putting up with the oppression and take matters into their own hands, with an execution of the king as the end result.”

Guitarist Koen Scheepens goes on to say, “The cycle of power is the common theme on ‘Crown’, which is also very clear visually.  Because once again we have cast our album artwork into a Renaissance style.  For example, the album cover shows a crown – the only thing left of the king – lying upside down, while greedy hands reach for other crowns (read: for power).  On the back, the crown is again taken by someone else.  Hopefully this time it will end up in good hands.  ‘Crown’ is full of song lyrics and visual artwork analogous about what power can do to people.”

Crown consists of nine tracks: Avarice; Liars; Trojans; Pariah; Barriers; Oblivion; Sinners; Bloodline; and Disciples.

I’ll start by saying that For I Am King is mostly a scream-singing (screamo, death growling) band, and if I’m being completely honest, I usually don’t like this genre of music.  It’s just too intense for me.  After listening to Crown, I can’t say that my opinion on scream-singing has changed, but I was absolutely floored by the talent For I Am King has.  Alma has amazing vocal control, strength, breath control, and sheer power to produce those vocals, and her ability to enunciate while screaming is so impressive.  Meanwhile, the instrumentals are intelligent, technical, and engaging.

Beyond their sound, the album’s lyrics tell a poetic, critical, insightful story about society and the state of our world in a way that makes a depressing topic sound beautiful.  I particularly like “Liars,” with lyrics like; “We all dream of beautiful blue skies/But instead every second something dies/We all grieve about the things we’ve lost/But can we change, for what cause.”

I also have to mention another single from For I Am King that is not on Crown but is still amazing and worth a shout-out.  The single is a reimagining of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” (which was essentially the theme song of the fourth season of Stranger Things).  The song is amazing, and the music video pays homage to Stanger Things, with the band playing D&D wearing “The Hellfire Club” shirts, Alma dressed as Eleven, and one of the guitar players re-enacting Eddie’s final performance.  Goosebumps.

Overall, I loved Crown.  Check out For I Am King on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.