SOUTHWICKED (U.S. / Europe) “Death’s Crown” CD review by Metal Curse

SOUTHWICKED (U.S. / Europe) “Death’s Crown” CD review

by Metal Curse

By Ychoril

When I heard that Allen West (ex-Obituary) was in this band, it came as no surprise that Southwicked has an old-school Florida Death Metal sound. In fact, most of the riffs here could easily have fit in with an early Obituary album (circa Slowly We Rot or Cause of Death). The only thing missing was John Tardy’s “I’m vomiting up my lungs” vocal delivery. Stylistically, this is very straight-forward mid-paced Death Metal that worships at the altar of Celtic Frost/Hell Hammer. The downside of that style is that while each song is solid on its own, the album as a whole tends to sound a bit monotonous. Every track sits in the same speed range, never breaking out of the narrow groove that they’ve carved out for themselves. The pacing never really changes, so even though the riffing does, it still feels like you’re listening to what could be one really long song. If I’m not mistaken, this was an issue that plagued Obituary as well. What made Cause of Death a classic was a combination of John Tardy’s dynamic vocals and James Murphy’s insane soloing. Those broke up the general monotony of Obituary’s basic song structures. In the case of Southwicked, they don’t have the dynamic vocals (opting instead for a basic Death growl, provided by Sven Poets) and they don’t have the kind of explosive soloing that they need to break things up. If they can manage to inject some more diversity in their song structures, the follow-up to Death’s Crown is going to be fucking awesome.

Rating: 8

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