Though Trollhättan, Sweden's The Crown rendered my life meaningless in 2004 by breaking up, ex-members of the criminally underappreciated death metal quintet didn't remain quiet for long. Figuratively speaking, of course, since no one's paying attention. If four bands form in a desolate forest, where do they plug their shit in?
- Bassist/principal songwriter Magnus Olsfelt's Stolen Policecar recorded their debut album at ex-Crown rhythm guitarist Marko Tervonen's Studio MT for Bulldog Records. Or so they announced back in fuckin January 2007 to the delight of at least two chicks from Japan. The album has yet to surface, but two finished tracks stream here, including "Hard And Confused," a slab of sleaze punk that asks the age-old question: What's a little lipstick on your penis? For fans of Minus and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Yeah. All two dozen of them.
- Speaking of Tervonen: The Crown's other big songwriter fronts Angel Blake, whose debut album was snore city but fuck it -- so is every album in the HIM heavy rock vein. Also underachieving in this band is ex-Crown mega-drummer/vowel hog Janne Saarenpää, who sat out AB's spring and summer dates supporting their sophomore album, The Descended. To the delight of the same chicks from Japan.
- Lead guitarist Marcus Sunnesson and his awesome hair joined with former members of Evergrey (ugh) and In Flames (gag) in Engel. Though In Flames frontman Anders Fridén and his awful hair co-produced debut album Absolute Design, my hopes remain high for Engel since Metal Hammer (UK) voted the quintet one of 2006's best unsigned bands and they won a demo contest at Rock Hard (Germany). Wonder what the two Japanese chicks think of the band's fancy outfits.
- Surprisingly, best representing The Crown camp is former vocalist Johan Lindstrand, AKA the guy who was replaced by the dreaded Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates) for one album. Lindstrand's awesome One Man Army & The Undead Quartet is completing post-production on their third album slated for a late 2008 release; if the pattern holds, Grim Tales will be even awesomer than last year's taut, violent Error In Evolution. Lindstrand and his hyper-prolific band draw the most comparisons to The Crown, mostly because, like The Crown, their records are available for purchase and they play shows in front of living people. Still no sign of the two chicks from Japan. Oh wait here they are.