Crown the Empire have had quite the first few years. Their sophomore album The Fallout skyrocketed their success in the hardcore music scene and trademarked their theatrical and eerie musical style. Now ending this month with their new album The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways and the recent Alternative Press Award for Breakthrough Band, Crown the Empire is back and better than ever. The Resistance is filled with the band’s major development, musical talents, and driven message. The record’s rebellious concept leaves each track full of powerful lyrics, liberating melodies, and ambient tones, creating the ultimate uplifting album for any outcast.
Crown the Empire have always been known for their themes and stories of dystopia within their music, but The Resistance takes it to the next level. The intense pace is set with “A Call to Arms”, the opening track that speaks for itself. Ambience pulses through the introduction and flows into lead singer Andy Leo’s intoxicating vocals. As usual, the band sets a very haunting mood throughout the album. “The Phoenix Rebellion” specifically uses strong orchestrated instrumentals to spook listeners then ends the track with sound effects to bring the song to life. You can hear heavy panting, explosions, and gunshots that put you right in the middle of Crown the Empire’s rebellion.
The realistic touch that the band adds to their music isn’t the only element used to amp their listeners up. They fully commit to the concept of the album, giving each strong impactful and influential lyrics that can rally up any crowd. A favorite from the album, track “Rise of the Runaways”, uses chilling, robotic intro vocals to express “On trial for our fates / we are the runaways” then explodes into a rock ballad with words like “We were not born the enemy / and we will not stop for anything.” Even the super heavy “Bloodlines” spits out lyrics like “So let the battle begin / We’re not the same kids you used to know” to express the evolution from outcasts to warriors. This seamless mesh of empowering lyrics and sounds puts The Resistance at an unbreakable stance.
Another great choice the band made was staying true to the sound their fans love. The band has come to a new era with The Resistance, but keep it within arms length of their dark theatrical and spooky vibe. They show much more progress with their strong structure as well. “Millennia” is the most surprising track from Crown the Empire, but possibly the most successful. The rock and roll love song sounds pretty upbeat for The Resistance, but is balanced by the heavier instrumentals that explore their talents; some notes and riffs here and there even remind me of My Chemical Romance. Although some songs follow the generic metalcore song structure, they make up for it with great hooks. “Initiation” takes a few listens to really get into, but when you hear the irresistible refrain you can’t stop listening. “Maniacal Me” has the same average metalcore feel, but has that dark and dramatic sound which marks it as Crown the Empire material.
Speaking of theatricality, you can’t end a Crown the Empire album without a little visit from Johnny. “Johnny’s Rebellion” is his third appearance in the band’s discography and he continues to cause trouble. A “grand finale” is only way to describe this closing track because everything is, well, grand. The sound effects, the instrumentals, the vocals – from start to finish, this dramatic piece packs a punch and ends The Resistance with a bang.
After such a successful sophomore album, this album has become crucial for Crown the Empire’s future in the music industry. From what it looks like, The Resistance has proved that they are capable of creating a storm, or rather a rebellion, in the music scene. They have a unique style, incredible talent, and a faithful fan base, making this breakthrough band the next big thing.