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

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


By John Jeffrey

When Rob Barrett, the guitarist from Buffalo’s own “Death Metal” giant, Cannibal Corpse, announced he was getting married (to wife Irina), it was announced a special show (a wedding reception of sorts) was being put together at Club Infinity, which would feature the reunion of several retired bands from Riverside, NY.  Several musicians who no longer reside in the WNY area traveled home for the event, including bassist, Rock Rollain.  While Rollain returned to Buffalo to reunite with the now defunct, Axmen, he informed RockMusicStar that he far from retired, and is currently playing with the Death Metal band, Southwicked.  While RockMusicStar doesn’t typically cover that genre of metal, how could we ignore a band whose bass player’s name is “Rock?”

Southwicked is the brainchild of guitarist Allen West, who is known for his time playing with Obituary and Six Feet Under (which features original Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes).  They have just releasedtheir debut album, “Death’s Crown,” on Abyss Records, produced by Peter Claes and Mark Prator.  Southwicked harkens back to the early days of Death Metal, when it was more about attitude, versus today’s technically obsessed, virtuoso type bands.  While the signature ‘cookie monster’ vocals (provided by Sven Poets) are ever present on “Death’s Crown,” which is usually a major deterrent for me, the music is really worth listening to.  Songs like the title track, “Death’s Crown” and “Craving for Blood” are reminiscent of early thrash, making me think of bands like Overkill, Death Angel and Anthrax.

One of the things I really like about Southwicked, is unlike most Death Metal bands, they don’t tune their guitars down to “X-flat,” as they maintain a heavy tone by playing in the key of “D” and the guitars don’t sound like mud.  Rock Rollain’s Geezer Butler style bass lines add a certain doom element to the songs and drummer Marco Vreven avoids the trappings of stereotypical Death Metal drumming by avoiding the lightning speed double bass playing and grinding that you’ll hear by most drummers in this genre, and goes for a more heavy tom-tom approach, almost like a Dave Lombardo (Slayer).

By far, the best song on the CD is “Green River Killing Fields,” an epic tune that will get your blood pumping for anyone who enjoys heavy music.  While Southwicked haven’t reinvented the wheel, it’s refreshing to hear a new(er) Death Metal band who isn’t afraid to bring it “old school” style.

Review link:


Southwicked links:




Last fm:

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store:




Last fm:



To purchase SOUTHWICKED “Death’s Crown” CD go to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: