Artist: Crown the Empire
Album: The Fallout + Limitless (Deluxe Re-Issue)
In 2011, Crown the Empire released their debut EP, “Limitless” which boasted one of the most creative sounds ever introduced into the metal genre. On that EP were the crowd favorites, “Breaking Point”, “Wake Me Up”, “Voices” and “Johnny Ringo”. Also on that EP (though not announced until the release actually happened) was a beautiful piano ballad called “Lead Me Out of the Dark” which is one of the most soulful and heartfelt songs the band has ever released. The EP received incredible ratings from critics and fans alike, prompting the band to start work on their debut full-length album. In 2012, the band announced that they had been picked up by Portland, Oregon based label, Rise Records and would begin recording with the legendary Joey Sturgis during the summer of that year, eventually releasing the album on November 20th, 2012. The album is still atop the Alternative Press charts and has been called the album of the year for 2012 by many different press outlets and fans alike. Now, it’s 2013 and the band are at the top of their game, boasting a change in sound, image and stage presence. What better time to re-release the album that impressed fans so much, right? But that was just the beginning, the band decided to re-record their debut EP with new unclean vocalist, David Escamilla. To throw everyone off even more, they dropped the electronics and auto-tune, working off of pure talent and a completely different tuning. It was also released without keyboardist Austin Duncan, who left the band in 2012 to pursue other things. The result? A fiery new approach to the EP that launched their career and made them a household name!
The first track to be released from the re-recorded EP was “Breaking Point”. Now, I’ve seen many people who hate the new versions of these songs and, while I will admit that “Breaking Point” isn’t my favorite of these new versions, it’s not bad by any means! It’s a bold, different approach to the track and it gives them a fresh sound. As for the accusations of not having any emotion, droning, etc… well, I guess that’s just a matter of opinion. You know what they say about opinions though! Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they’re best kept to themselves! Dave’s parts in this track are amazing, his screams are powerful and will get you out of your seat, there’s no doubt about that! The track also features a new ending, instead of the techno outro everyone has been used to. Instead, Dave screams “THIS IS YOUR BREAKING POINT!! FUCK!!!” and it’s pursued by a breakdown of epic proportions.
The second track to be showcased before the release is “Limitless”, featuring Dave Escamilla’s incredible vocal prowess in place of Denis Shaforostov, former vocalist for Make Me Famous and current vocalist of Down & Dirty. This track happens to be one of my favorites on the EP, but not my absolute favorite, we will get to that soon. This track, too, features some new parts long-time fans may not be used to. The point of re-recording this EP was to show that the band has matured both vocally and musically and what a great way to showcase that change!
My favorite re-recorded version is… “Johnny Ringo”, which many I’ve seen say shouldn’t have been touched. While the original was fun, catchy and explosive; this new version brings a whole new element to CTE that really helps mold this track. Dave’s screams, as in “Johnny’s Revenge” are perfectly placed, perfectly executed and the new tuning really makes the track pop out at you. Say what you will, “Johnny Ringo” is my favorite Crown the Empire track and I think they did an excellent job on the new version!
The next track I want to talk about is the re-recorded “Voices”. The original version of the song featured a very talented young lady by the name of Britni Michelle Horner. For the new version, they used another extremely talented woman named Cassie Marin! Many of you probably remember the behind the scenes video they did on the making of “Voices” in which they joked that the actress, Ray Corson, was only 14 which, sadly, people believed! Britni’s voice, if this is her, has REALLY matured as well! There isn’t really anything about this track that is different, aside from Dave’s screams and the drop in tuning, though. It does make for a more well-rounded version of this track!
The final track I want to talk about is “Lead Me Out of the Dark”. This was an unannounced bonus track on the original EP and has captured the heart of millions of fans worldwide. The basics of this one are the same, but you can definitely hear Andy’s matured vocal skill in the new version. While the original was beautiful and pulled on the heartstrings, the new version will increase that tenfold.
The reason for this EP was to show how much the band has grown since their inception. This EP definitely showcases that and even almost gives a preview of what is to come from them in the coming year! I think that, while the auto-tune can be nice for them sometime, that dropping it was a bold move that will prove very successful. They are a band who definitely deserves to be taken seriously and respected for the talent that they bring to the Rise Records roster. Being that they come from Dallas, TX and, being from Texas myself…they make me incredibly proud to call myself a Texan. Go pick up your copy of the deluxe re-issue of “The Fallout” with the re-recorded version of the “Limitless” EP and fall back in love with where it all started! Also, below is my review of the original release of “The Fallout” for you all!
“The Glass Elevator (Walls) (Re-Recorded)” (Official Stream)
“Breaking Point (Re-Recorded)” Official Lyric Video
“Wake Me Up (Re-Recorded)” (Official Stream)
“Johnny Ringo” (Re-Recorded)” Official Stream
“Voices (Re-Recorded)” (Official Stream)
“Limitless (Re-Recorded)” Official Lyric Video