Having had to change their name due to legal problems, The Crown (formerly known as Crown Of Thorns from Sweden) release their 3rd disc, and are finally signed to an American label (Metal Blade Records). With their skills sharp and an intense hunger, The Crown unleash a brutal barrage of death/thrash metal mixed with black metal overtones/lyrics (they too have a vendetta against God!), and come up aces. Kicking off the disc it the super intense "The Poison", a cool retro-style number that rips it up big time. One big plus here is the devastating drum performance by Janne Saarenpaa, who apparently plays "real drums" (no samples or tape tricks and very little production help). This guy lets loose with a double bass fill on "The Poison" that is reminiscent of Dave Lombardo's on "Angel ofDeath" Now that's saying something! As a matter of fact, he's the propelling factor behind the band, as the production of this cd is not very good at all. The guitars are buried and makes some of the weaker tracks ("At the End", "Mysterion" and "Dying of the Heart") seem like throwaway tracks, while the better songs ("The Poison", "1999-Revolution 666" and the punk-like "Electric Night") lose a significant portion of their power. There's no denying that this is a monster of a disc, but when its as hard to hear as it is here, you sort of give up. Also of some irritance, is the one-dimensional vocals. Sure, some tracks sound great with that scream/death shout, but the whole disc is shouted out with no trace of individuality. That's just a minor thing, as most death metal is of this type of vocalizing. If you buy this disc, just stick with it. Eventually you'll hear the riffs and the music, but it may take awhile. 3 and a half stars is a better indicator as a rating.