Published Mar 14, 2018There's a simple test to determine if you like metal. Listen to Cobra Speed Venom all the way through and if, by the end, you haven't heard anything that you like, you'll never get it.
In many ways, metal needs bands like the Crown to exist. Forming in 1990, and reuniting after a five-year hiatus in 2009, the Swedes have remained rock solid in the face of changing trends. Over the decades, the Crown have honed their thrash attack to needle precision, and on Cobra Speed Venom, the results are nothing short of stunning.
Opening tracks like "Destroyed by Madness," "In the Name of Death" and single "Iron Crown" are the type of death/thrash metal that somehow never ages. Ferocious production helps, making the drums sound like an artillery barrage from which there is no respite, and allowing guitarists Marko Tervonen and Robin Sörqvist to pierce right through into the listener's eardrums. Lyrically, things are pretty familiar, with vocalist Johan Lindstrand cycling through the usual themes of death, war and a decent dose of Satanism.
All of this should add up to something derivative ("Rise In Blood" is literally two letters away from a Slayer album title), but incredibly, it still feels fresh. Cobra Speed Venom lives up to its name, a ragingly brutal thrashterpiece that should be on every self-respecting metalhead's "must-hear" list of 2018. (Metal Blade)