Crowned In Earth: Metempsychosis (2015)


Just released, this album from London based trio makes it’s case to be the most gorgeous record of 2015

“Gorgeous” and “lush” are not two words that you would normally associate with MVM, but there is no better way to describe this record.

Crowned In Earth came into being in 2008, when main man Kevin Lawry, decided to have a crack at something else after his days as a solo doom band, now a three piece, this album is their second full length, and is said to be the complete package from a band that previously hinted that they might just be capable of greatness.

With just six tracks, “Metempsychosis” (the meaning of which is a philosophical term in the Greek language referring to transmigration of the soul, especially its reincarnation after death) concerns itself with those themes, but more importantly is one of those glorious Prog records, a little like those of early Genesis (and the cover has a very 1970s feel as if to prove it) where anything can happen and most usually does. From the glorious jazz freakout that kicks off “Morning Light” it’s clear that not only is this a labour of love for the three men who made it, but also a thing of great beauty. It’s possessing of a warmth that almost comes out of the speakers, it’s one of those type of songs.

“But An Echo” which follows, lilts along on a summery hook, a beautiful short song, it’s music is at odds with the lyric of “there’ll be no laughter here today” while “Summer’s Pride” is a sensory journey, a song to lose yourself in. Appropriately “Symmetry Of Night” is darker in feel, but builds into a wonderful chaotic crescendo, with a spoken word piece at its rather nihilistic heart proclaiming that one day our dreams will be “ash beneath the sun.”

The start of “Separate Ways” is perhaps “Metempsychosis'” heaviest moment, before giving way to another jazzy overture, it’s discordant, disorientating and distinguished all at once.

The album finishes with a track that the band appear to know is a little special. The 16 and a half minutes of “Travelling Road” takes all that’s good about what’s gone before, expands on it and stretches it out into something glorious, with Lawry singing that he’s “turning his back on the past” it appears to have real significance.

Even at a time where Prog as a genre is undergoing both a real renaissance and an upturn in quality, there is something very special about “Metempsychosis.” February is too early to crown anything as Prog album of the year, it’s not too big a stretch to say that it will be an incredible album that beats this Crowned in Earth one.

Rating 9.5/10

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