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Crown the Empire- The Fallout Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.5
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7.5
Production 7.5
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.5
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.88
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8.96
Production 8.83
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8.83
Reviewer Tilt 8.92
Average: 88%

Crown the Empire- The Fallout

Reviewed by: justbradley (11/29/12)
Crown The EmpireThe Fallout
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: November 20th, 2012


Texas post-hardcore band Crown the Empire is one of those bands I’ve heard of for a long time, but never got into; I had listened to the band’s first EP Limitless, which was released in 2011, but I didn’t really care for it. I don’t know what it was, but it just didn’t grip me in the way other bands did. I just got a really generic vibe from them, and I never really listened to them until I heard their debut album The Fallout was released. I didn’t have much to compare this to, because I hadn’t listened to Limitless in a long time, but what I remember from the EP was that it was ambitious, but still generic, nonetheless. The same goes for this album – it’s quite ambitious, and it’s clear they’re trying to do something different. Do they succeed? Yes, and no. It’s a double-edged sword, because I feel like at certain moments, they’re trying too hard, but at the same time, I feel like they’re not trying hard enough at other moments. Most of this album is rather run-of-the-mill Risecore, as it’s jokingly called. There are breakdowns galore, but if you look past those, there are some very interesting moments on The Fallout. You just have to be paying attention, essentially. They are few and far between, but they do make this much more enjoyable. Despite being generic, they are a fun band to listen to. They’re very enjoyable. Being generic does not mean it’s terrible, but most of the time, generic and terrible do coexist. Crown the Empire and a few other bands in the other genre are generic, but still very fun to listen to, because they clearly enjoy what they do. They do have a few very ambitious moments, but when it comes down to it, it’s average post-hardcore. There are hints of potential, but the generic breakdowns definitely outnumber them.

The album opens with the 2-minute intro “Oh, Catastrophe.” The band released a two-part extended music of this song, and next track, and title track, “The Fallout.” Both videos were pretty cool, because they were almost like short films. The acting was rather cheesy, but they related to the music quite well, so I can’t complain about that. The actual songs do sound a bit different, because they’re not extended, or anything. “Oh, Catastrophe” is a really cool and creepy intro that just has clean vocalist Andy Leo serenading the listener over a piano riff. It leads right into title track “The Fallout,” which is what the band is all about, essentially. It’s got some nice orchestral elements, but it’s also laced with breakdowns and screams from screamer David Escamilla. His screams aren’t the best I’ve ever heard, but they’re certainly enjoyable. This song really sums up what Crown the Empire is all about, because if you like this song, you’ll like most of their other songs, surely. This is one of the songs that hints at some potential. Very beautiful piano riffs are sprinkled throughout the song (and the album itself) to make for some cool contrasts. Next song “Memories of a Broken Heart” has a catchy chorus, but that’s about it. The lyrics are rather cliché, and while everything sounds solid, it just comes off as really generic. Fourth track “Makeshift Chemistry” on the other hand, is a track that I really like. It’s easily one of the best on the album, and one of my favorites. This is where it all works. It may be generic, and the lyrics are quite relatable, but it’s just so fun to listen to.

As the album goes on, it follows the album “formula” as the songs I just talked about, basically; there are moments that are very interesting, but others that are just plain generic. Most of the tracks, however, are a mix between the two. Fifth track “The One That Feeds” is an example of this; the first minute and a half is really cool, but then it turns heavy, and treads into cliché territory. The next track “Menace” is another one of these “interesting” tracks, because it’s most likely the heaviest on this record. Surprisingly, it’s not very generic. There are some great orchestral elements that bring fellow Rise post-hardcore band In Fear and Faith to mind, and in all honesty, this band reminds me of a more generic In Fear and Faith. The thing I like about Crown the Empire is how ambitious they are, and without the breakdowns (or at least so many), they could be a great band. While the beginning of the album is pretty nice, the middle of the album kind of slows a bit. It slows down in the sense that all the songs seem to run together, except for a few. Aside from some orchestral flourishes here and there, it just seems to run together. That is, until ninth track “Evidence” starts. The beginning of the song has only vocalist Andy Leo singing and his voice is distorted a bit (he uses a lot of vocal effects throughout the record itself, too), but not in an auto-tuned way. While there are some generic breakdowns in this song, they work. That’s how I feel about this album, actually – there are a lot of generic moments, but there are some interesting ones, too. There are a lot of potential moments, because they use a lot of orchestral stuff, but it doesn’t sound overbearing. Last track “Johnny’s Revenge” is by far the strangest track, because it begins with Leo laughing maniacally, and it sounds quite creepy. The track itself is enjoyable, and it ends the album on a nice note, too. This track is probably the “standout” track of the record, or at least one of them, because it has a really different sound from the rest of the record. It is post-hardcore, but it’s something more, too.

Basically, as I kept saying throughout the review, this album is rather generic, but there is a lot of potential. Honestly, this is one of the most enjoyable post-hardcore records I’ve heard all year. The breakdowns were plentiful, but not overbearing, and the orchestral stuff really helped to make it better, and more unique. While there are some generic tendencies, they’re very ambitious, and I really like that about them. This is a very fun album, and if you like post-hardcore, this will probably be an album you’ll enjoy, too.

Recommended If You LikeIn Fear and Faith, At the Skylines, Hands Like Houses, Jamie’s Elsewhere, etc, etc.


Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Oh, Catastrophe
2. The Fallout
3. Memories of a Broken Heart
4. Makeshift Chemistry
5. The One You need
6. Menace
7. Graveyard Souls
8. Two’s Too Many
9. Evidence
10. Children of Love
11. Johnny’s Revenge

Of Cities is:
Andy Leo: Vocals
David Escamilla: Vocals
Brandon Hoover: Guitar
Ben Suede: Lead Guitar
Hayden Tree: Bass
Brent Taddie: Drums



www.facebook.com/crowntheempire
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8.
09:48 PM on 12/07/12
#2
Rickaly
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Is this the same vocalist from Euphony?
11:44 AM on 12/08/12
#3
pepster50
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I wouldn't say this album is all that "ambitious". Its pretty much all generic rise-core with a tinge of orchestral elements to it; with the exception of the last track which is ambitious and reminds me of "old mcdonald had a farm" lol. But you're right, there are some fun songs on here. As a person who is extremely picky when it comes to this type of music, i feel myself somewhat enjoying this record. There are too many boring breakdowns though. You should have mentioned "Two's Too Many" probably the best track on the cd.
09:18 PM on 12/16/12
#4
stevensites
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I think the creativity score here is rather generous. Tons of bands are trying to do this whole macabre, kind of burlesque-influenced/carnival music style of rock that kind of remind me of "heavier" (even if forcedly so) versions of Panic!'s first album. Capture the Crown, Motionless In White, Shapes and Colors, Dead Rabbitts, The Last of Our Kind, VersaEmerge, Chiodos, and The Word Alive have all at least dabbled in this style (some long before others and, to greater extents and more effectively, of course.) And the whole orchestral thing is alllll over the place lately, if anything, I think that's the biggest strike against their creativity factor. Every Risecore band has at least two songs per album that start with a fade into a synthesized piano or plucked string riff. Although I thank Cameron Mizell at Chango studios for the fact that they actually aesthetically sound identical to everyone else out there right now.

Personally I don't dig this album at all and of course to each his own, but I do have a hard time agreeing with a 7.5 for creativity.
07:56 PM on 12/22/12
#5
HollywoodDied
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The only problem I have with this album is the effects done on the vocals. People will just brush it off due to the fact that it's released by Rise and is classified as "Risecore", but besides the overworked vocals, it's a pretty decent post-hardcore release.
10:32 PM on 04/07/13
#6
Niko John
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I think the creativity score here is rather generous. Tons of bands are trying to do this whole macabre, kind of burlesque-influenced/carnival music style of rock that kind of remind me of "heavier" (even if forcedly so) versions of Panic!'s first album. Capture the Crown, Motionless In White, Shapes and Colors, Dead Rabbitts, The Last of Our Kind, VersaEmerge, Chiodos, and The Word Alive have all at least dabbled in this style (some long before others and, to greater extents and more effectively, of course.) And the whole orchestral thing is alllll over the place lately, if anything, I think that's the biggest strike against their creativity factor. Every Risecore band has at least two songs per album that start with a fade into a synthesized piano or plucked string riff. Although I thank Cameron Mizell at Chango studios for the fact that they actually aesthetically sound identical to everyone else out there right now.

Personally I don't dig this album at all and of course to each his own, but I do have a hard time agreeing with a 7.5 for creativity.
Capture the Crown, Motionless in White, and The Word Alive are heavier versions of Panic!'s first album?..............wut? I'm sorry, but that can't be further from the truth.
07:25 AM on 04/13/13
#7
stevensites
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Capture the Crown, Motionless in White, and The Word Alive are heavier versions of Panic!'s first album?..............wut? I'm sorry, but that can't be further from the truth.
My point was that Panic! sort of pioneered that burlesque flair in modern rock and it's been coming back in heavier music.
10:09 AM on 04/14/13
#8
Niko John
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My point was that Panic! sort of pioneered that burlesque flair in modern rock and it's been coming back in heavier music.
Not by Capture the Crown, Motionless in White, and the Word Alive. I get your point, but those bands are not burlesque type style.
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