Stygian Crown – Funeral for a King

/ 0 Comments / By :
Know, oh prince, that in the years following their self-titled debut, there was an age undreamed of for Stygian Crown, whose shining doom epics lay spread across the record like vinyl gems beneath the stars. Hither came ‘Funeral for a King’, their sophomore record, heavy riffed, soaringly vocaled. Fists in the air, with gigantic melodies and gigantic doom, to tread the beer-drenched stages of your summer festivals under their sandaled feet.

Heavy riffs pour down on the title track. They are so thick and sticky they could actually be mistaken for a lost Bolt Thrower song. One minute in, and you’re already invariably banging your head to this opening volley. This unexpected combo suggests an interesting concept. Often when traditional or epic doom is combined with elements of death metal or doom death, then it usually concerns the vocals: adding in deep growling grunts from the deepest chasms of hell. That’s not the case here: come the second track ‘Bushido’, Melissa Pinion’s soaring vocals are by Crom’s grace thankfully kept intact. It is that marching phalanx of chugging riffs that they’ve taken over, making the song so much heavier.

There is another deathly link here. Behind the drumkit we find none other than Rhett Davis backing the stretched pigskins, whom doom veteran will recognize from Morgion, one of the finest death doom bands ever hailing from the US. Interestingly enough, after this aforementioned doom legend disbanded many, many years ago, some of them, including Rhett actually formed the short-lived outfit Keen of The Crow, which was incidentally also very much inspired by the tales of Hyboria.

‘Scourge of the Seven Hills’ taps into a more traditional epic doom feel, waxing very positively about Candlemass with a more open guitar sound. ‘Let thy Snares be Planted’ is an instrumental, cinematic interlude that looks like it would be taken straight out of an eighties sword & sorcery flick with screeching violins.

Followed up by ‘The Bargain’ and ‘Where the Candle Always Burns’ which makes no attempts to obfuscate at which altar these Californians worship, even though it does kick it up a notch or two to round it off with some great soloing near the end.

‘Blood Red Eyes’ opens beautifully with some delicate violin lines and a moody piano tune. It also shows a whole other side from the frontwoman with her vocals having an equally dramatic, but very restrained, intimate delivery.  I wasn’t expecting a ballad and especially not a blood soaked one like this, but here it is.

‘Beauty and Terror’ is equally beautiful, but in a let’s say slightly different way. Classic tritones prevail. Talking about the beauty: the cover artwork. This features again a magnificent, fantasy painting of said funeral from the title. In a genre like this, you really want a cover that tickles your imagination and tells a whole story in itself before you even hear a single note.

‘Strait of Messina’ closes off this epic journey. It starts out as another notch on their doom belt, but then instead of slowly letting the candle flicker out, the song lights up and burns the whole place down with a galloping cavalry of energetic earworm leads.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

A fascinating and original mix of Bolt Thrower style riffing and traditional doom’s aesthetics, Stygian Crown’s sophomore does not disappoint in the slightest.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *