'Profane' is the third full length from French black/death Metal maestros Svart Crown. I enjoyed the two predecessors, 'Ages Of Decay' and 'Witnessing The Fall', but this latest offering takes things to a whole new level.
On 'Profane' they don't just cross boundaries, they smash them, mercilessly and this is their best offering to date. The main theme and aim to the album is: "a full-introspection on the sickness of humanity and to deliver the soundtrack of a bleak world that has already ended as far as Svart Crown are concerned."
Opening with 'Manifestatio Symptoms', a hauntingly sinister and blackened instrumental intro that builds to great effect before jumping straight into the equally blackened 'Genesis Architect', a powerful track with a dark catchy groove, beautifully and effectively constructed and phrased, sinister to the core.
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'Intern. Virus. Human' opens like a powerful wave and midway has a well placed, tranquil segment which builds up into another wave; the result is powerful and punishing.
A gentle haunting opening and then a sound bite of female screams on 'In Utero: A Place of Hatred And Threat' which adds an unnerving and powerful effect to the track, building into an intense and manic array of dark dirty chugging grooves, blasting drum work and a great guitar segment midway, the final minute is pure insanity of the finest kind.
'Until The Last Breath' builds from a simple guitar repeat and then powerful vocals come at you in waves. A slower number to the greater part, but dark and powerful and another great darkly emotive guitar segment midway before another insanely exciting ender, a powerful mix of crashing cymbals, blasting drums, vocal screams and pulsating riffs.
On the title track 'Profane' a slower tempo is used to great effect, as are the great blasts of drum work woven into the construct, a deliciously dark and tortuous track.
This is an amazingly atmospheric album of the most brutal kind and on 'The Therapy Of Flesh', slow dark haunting and manic paced segments are woven together with great drum work once again to add depth and atmosphere.
Opening tribal like drum beats set the scene on 'Venomous Ritual', these develop and build as the track progresses into a dark dirty distorted and powerful bass led instrumental, with the addition of a few background atmospheric vocal sounds.
'Ascetic Purification' a delightful chunk of full tilt, musical mayhem, fast and furious from end to end.
Final track 'Revelation: Down Here Stillborn' has a catchy groove, in fact some pretty outstanding guitar work altogether, a powerful and sinister finale.
'Profane' is certainly their darkest, bleakest and best album to date, a great mix of punishing yet catchy grooves, consistently excellent compositions and great harsh guttural vocals. You can't ask for much more than that, can you!
No favourite track either, I couldn't possibly choose, the standard is too consistently high across the album.
The artwork is by Stefan Thanneur (Ruins) and the album was recorded, mixed, mastered by Francis Caste (Kickback, Arkhon Infaustus, Phazm) at St Marthe studio in Paris.