Italian prog metal outfit Kingcrow take a somewhat unexpected twist with their seventh full length effort, The Persistence. After their 2015 album Eidos, which was seemingly everywhere at once, twisting this way and that, they instead turn to a more straightforward approach. Where the previous album fully succeeded in grappling the new listener in, The Persistence manages beautifully with its more simple approach. Kingcrow were never really the most technical prog metal band around, and that remains true on The Persistence, but the laid back stylistics that focuses on atmosphere take precedence. This lends the album bigger emotional pull, and the atmospheric keys that sugar the already melodically prevalent tinge add massively to the whole, as it begins to settle.
The tempos seem to have been scaled down a notch, opting rather for mid tempo melodics or even slower, but never going into faster stuff. This approach works incredibly well with the aforementioned atmospheric punctuation that envelops the production. The album noticeably lacks any discernable low points, remaining equally strong throughout with a few highs noted through the runtime. Opener Drenched starts the album off with some crunchy riffing alongside lofty vocal melodies and distinct harmonies that set the entire mood off right from the start, while Every Broken Piece of Me starts calm and almost soothing, only to develop into a melodic beast towards the climax, where Cristian Della Polla’s keys work magic harmonies alongside the melodic leads of Diego Cafolla and Ivan Nastasi. Vocalist Diego Marchesi sounds comfortable, urged when the mood calls for it, but also laid back and emotive when fitting.
For someone who never fully got into Kingcrow, and would have to go through the back catalogue to pick out high points, The Persistence marks a distinct shift. The album is not only beautifully written, but equally strong in the musicianship and performance, closing in on top tier in Kingcrow’s own specific sub branch of melodic progressive metal. Moving from the flamenco stylistics and being everywhere style of Eidos to the slower, melodic and oftentimes nearly heartbreaking style of The Persistence might not be for everyone, but there’s sure to be something for everyone on it. The Persistence might not be apt for every occasion, as the solitary confinement of the thoughts dwelled within the album lends itself best to the dark night descending, and once the album hooks you, it’s sure to stay.
Standout tracks: Drenched, Every Broken Piece Of Me, Night’s Descending