On their debut self-titled album, STYGIAN CROWN introduces the sound of “Candlethrower” to the world: A devastating combination of doom and death metal, topped off by classically-trained vocals!
They call it “Candlethrower.” It conjures up images of doom-dancing and rolling tanks; doom-on-death; death-on-doom; Candlemass and Bolt Thrower melded together. Considering the background and sizeable résumés of its members, it wasn’t by accident Los Angeles’s STYGIAN CROWN happened upon this sound. On their debut self-titled foray, STYGIAN CROWN offers something few bands have in their arsenal: An album tuned to B, with a 26” bass drum and a singer who doesn’t need auto-tune.
STYGIAN CROWN was formed in 2018 by former Morgion and current Gravehill drummer Rhett Davis, who tapped his Gravehill bandmates Nelson Miranda (guitar) and Jason Thomas (bass) to help launch the band. Morbid Eclipse guitarist Andy Hicks was the next to join, and with the help of longtime friend Bob Kassing, classically-trained vocalist Melissa Pinion was discovered after Kassing (who has since sadly passed away) introduced her to Davis. Shortly thereafter, Davis’s wife discovered a YouTube video of her singing a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” making her the perfect fit for STYGIAN CROWN.
The band released their first demo, “Through Divine Rite”, in 2018, then started work on what would become their self-titled album. The album’s drums were tracked at Trench Studios (Exhumed, Hirax) with John Haddad. Guitars, bass and vocals were recorded at Miranda’s home studio, and mixing and mastering were handled by Mark Kelson of The Eternal’s Kelsonic Studios in Australia. The writing sessions for the self-titled were largely helmed by Miranda and Davis, with Miranda providing the riffs and Davis cementing the arrangements. While all three songs from “Through Divine Rite” made the jump to the self-titled album (“Trampled into the Earth,” “Through Divine Rite” and “Flametongue”), the remainder of the songs were created through trial-and-error. Davis, admittedly, is a stickler for arrangements and will often create multiple versions of the same song, while Pinion added her flavor by supplying song ideas and vocal lines written on the piano. This unorthodox way of writing paid off in the end: STYGIAN CROWN emerged with a batch of songs that each bears their own identity but are unmistakably crushing and epic.
Pinion shouldered the lyric writing load, detailing myths from different cultures, namely “Devour the Dead,” which is about the Egyptian goddess Ammit, while “Two Coins for the Ferryman” recalls Charon, the boatman who took the dead across the river Styx. Her vocals – one of the defining traits of STYGIAN CROWN – work majestically between the band’s boulder-sized riffs and powerful bottom-end, resonating on album opener “Up from the Depths” and “When Old Gods Die.”
A sterling, heaving album capable of moving heaven and earth, STYGIAN CROWN’s self-titled debut is a masterclass in songwriting and unbridled heaviness. Doomination awaits!
1. The Hall Of Two Truths (0:33)
2. Devour The Dead (6:35)
3. Up From The Depths (6:55)
4. Through Divine Rite (8:33)
5. Flametongue (8:08)
6. When Old Gods Die (7:12) ***
7. Trampled Into The Earth (6:15)
8. Two Coins For The Ferryman (7:11)
*** (CD/Digital only)
Melissa Pinion – Vocals
Nelson Tomas Miranda – Guitar
Jason Thomas- Bass
Andy Hicks – Guitar
Rhett A. Davis – Drums