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Review: Black Corona – The Mission

by Miloš Šebalj

Black Corona – The Mission

1. Sweet Shadow
2. Areas
3. The Mission
4. Backdraft
5. Flow
6. Aterna
7. Resolution
8. Apatheon
9. The Night Eternal

Label: Art Gates Records
Date: May 22, 2020

 

I bet you all expect a joke here, right? Yeah, it’s like the band has some of the worst luck in the world to debut in this day and age. Or best, if you count half of their name is mentioned everywhere on a daily basis. Anyway, I’m guessing most reviewers will focus on their name. So, I will stick to the music.

Black Corona is a new name hailing from Austria. The quartet came into being just a couple of years back and this is their first full length record. And already on a foreign label! It just might suggest some serious quality can be found on the CD. Yes, Art Gates Records does send CDs for evaluation. Thank you for that!

Now, the Austrians perform a mixture of many modern sounds. Call it what you will, like it or hate it, doesn’t matter. It certainly is a modern vision of metal music. It is high time old timers realize metal didn’t die back in the 90’s.

So, metal for the 21st century. Think of the latest works from the Gothenburg legends. Soilwork, for instance. Melodic to the bone and heavy as a sledgehammer. Cutout riffing of In Flames, intertwined with some Mnemic groove. Softer interludes of the US version of modern metal, such as Bullet for my Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold… Black Corona also often slips completely into some post hardcore melancholy. Several different types of vocals switch roles, again reminding of their obvious influences from USA. Then again, the album closes with an At the Gates cover… A whole lot of stuff is happening here, so the focus on a particular genre gets lost. While that might be a positive thing, as it relieves you from overthinking about the least important, I don’t think it worked out quite as good on “The Mission”.

Nobody can accuse Black Corona of not swarming with energy. The rhythms omnipresent here are absolutely pressure building. There are more than enough serious head bangers on the album. More atmospheric parts carry just enough emotion, enhanced by the vocal presentation. Still, something is lacking on “The Mission”. It’s probably the lack of more expressive motifs to take you “over the top”. Riffing, while definitely firm, seems underdeveloped. Most of it will fall with the lack of more decisive arrangements. Also, Black Corona is in dire need of a few more catchy moments. Like the opening of “Flow” which certainly bears a mark. These moments are too few and far between, so that, in the end, you are left with a somewhat neutral feel to the record.

Solve this and you have quite a promising future. Until that happens, Black Corona will be stuck with “one of the many” title. And nobody wants that. Good job for now, but the next one needs to be better.

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