APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2018

What a glorious year in metal we just experienced.  After the sheer amount of quality albums that were released in 2018, there is no question that the genre is as healthy and full of life as ever.  Thus, making our top albums lists harder than usual.

For the APESHIT goons, 2018 was the year where the legends all shined.  JUDAS PRIEST led the charge with their best album since 1990’s Painkiller.  DIMMU BORGIR finally emerged from a long slumber and did not disappoint. VOIVOD remain the gods that the mass metal media won’t acknowledge as such.  We can’t really think of any letdowns.  Can you?

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THE CROWN – Cobra Speed Venom

If we’re being honest, THE CROWN‘s last one, Death is Not Dead, was good but not good enough by the standard that the band have set with previous releases.  The good news is that Cobra Speed Venom is THE CROWN‘s best album since the stellar Possessed 13.  Furthermore, it ranks up there with the latter, Eternal Death and Death Race King.

THE CROWN‘s heart pounding and train flying off the rails style of raging metal is in full effect on Cobra Speed Venom.  The songwriting is damn near flawless.  Hook after hook along with the perfect blend of diversity across the album make for an enjoyable listening experience.  The dirty and ugly aspects of their sound along with the clean melodies all have the right balance in the mix.  Lemmy would be proud to not only hear how Magnus Olsfelt‘s bass sounds in the mix but his bulldozing performance.

Bonus points if you caught the little tribute to BATHORY on “In the Name of Death.”

There is really no need to further explain as to why THE CROWN at the top of their game with Cobra Speed Venom.  Buy or die!  (Metal Blade Records)

THE CROWN Make Their Return with New 7″ and Video

Trollhättan, Sweden’s THE CROWN are finally back with new music.  The Headhunter 7″ is available now via iTunes or colored vinyl.  The video for the title track is also up:

The title track has been taken from THE CROWN‘s upcoming album, Death is Not Dead, which will be released via Century Media Records in January 2015. “Unfit Earth” is a brilliant cover version of the classic NAPALM DEATH track (originally released on the album Harmony Corruption).

Vocalist Johan Lindstrand Rejoins THE CROWN

THE CROWN has announced the return of original vocalist Johan Lindstrand and the departure of vocalist Jonas Stålhammar.

Here is part of the official statement from the band:

“We would like to thank our metal-brother Jonas Stålhammar for the amazing team-work for the last couple of years!!! Respect!!!

“Next week we’ll start rehearsing new material (6-7 news songs written at this point). We hope to enter the studio early 2012.

“We are thinking of doing a few Swedish dates within a couple of months (most likely a first re-union show in our hometown Trollhättan, this time in a proper club) and then focus on doing some kick-ass festivals in 2012.”

Johan Lindstrand: “Hi there all amazing THE CROWN fans out there, Johan Lindstrand speaking: Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to join my oldest friends and brothers in arms Marko, Janne, Magnus and Markus. I’m am so grateful for this and I will do my best to make the original line-up live up to all expectations and we will definitely have a total blast together while rippin´ the world to pieces with a lot more years to come.

“Yeah, from now on I am the lead singer in this classic death metal outfit called THE CROWN. Damn! That feels good to say.

“I will also take some time here to thank Jonas Stålhammar ’cause he did an amazing job on ‘Doomsday King.’ You rule dude!

“Other than that I have to say: THE ORIGINAL 5 HAS RETURNED!!! Go hide your children.”

Jonas Stålhammar: “Come in Number 51, your time is up! It’s fitting quoting the classic PINK FLOYD song right about now. My time with THE CROWN comes to an end with the return of the true voice of THE CROWN, Johan Lindstrand. It’s been a bumpy but really enjoyable ride for me being a member of THE CROWN.

“It’s with great respect I step down to let Johan take his rightful place in the band again. I wish them all the best and they are truly my brothers still.

“Needless to say that it was a pleasure to work with Jonas on Doomsday King!”

THE CROWN – Doomsday King

After disbanding six years ago citing the harsh realities of being an underground band as the cause, THE CROWN make their welcome return. So what’s different in 2010 for the band? First of all, their off the rails, crashing and bashing brand of Swedish death/thrash remain intact. Second, Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE) takes over the vocal duties for original vocalist Johan Lindstrand. Strangely enough, Jonas sounds a lot like Johan just with more of a gravely edge.

So the most important question becomes, “So how does Doomsday King measure to THE CROWN’s strong body of work?” Stylistically, Doomsday King largely provides sound and style that fans love about them. The excellent riffs, the manic blasting drums, the breakneck pace, and death bellows all sound great. Songs like “Soul Slasher,” “Desolation Domain,” and “He Who Rises in Might – From Darkness to Light” rank as some of the best songs THE CROWN has ever written. The latter closes out Doomsday King and is one of the best closers one can find. Stylistically, the song harkens back to the early days of not just the band but the Swedish death/black scene in general.

However, the album, as whole, isn’t without its weaknesses. Some songs don’t quite measure up in terms of songwriting and overall effectiveness (i.e. “The Tempter and the Bible Black”). Others aren’t quite as catchy all the way through.

At the end of the day, these weaknesses are what bring Doomsday King down to a level that simply isn’t good enough. And that’s the thing that really hurts as a longtime fan of THE CROWN. (Century Media Records)

THE CROWN Sign Worldwide Deal with Century Media Records

Revered Swedish death metal band THE CROWN have signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. Marko Tervonen (guitars) states: “We are happy as hell to turn a new page in THE CROWN’s history book and to pick up the journey with Century Media Records supporting us feels great. We can’t wait to unleash the new album, Doomsday King, upon you all!”

In 2004, the band announced their break up but the band decided to reform in 2009 with Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE) taking over vocal duties from Johan Lindstrand.

The new album Doomsday King is planned for fall release.


Sweden’s THE CROWN, who disbanded in 2004, have reformed with new vocalist, Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE, MACABRE END, ABHOTH), at the helm.

Following their originally split, guitarists Marko Tervonen, Marcus Sunesson, bassist Magnus Olsfelt, and drummer Janne Saarenpää went on to form DOBERMANN with Andreas “Whiplasher Bernadotte” Bergh (DEATHSTARS). They eventually parted ways with Bergh.

Today, the band officially announced their decision to change their name back to THE CROWN. The new album is said to already have been recorded. Below are a pair of audio samples of their new material:

Sample 1

Sample 2

The band has set up a new website. More information to come: