Amazingly, it’s four years since Canadian metalheads Demise of the Crown last enriched our ears. I described that album as containing ‘metal of epic consequence’, and I’m delighted to report that, in 2020, it’s very much business as usual for these natives of Montréal.

Except more so. Everything about Life In The City builds on the foundations laid by the self-titled debut. So, whilst being clearly very much the same band, Life In The City becomes Demise of the Crown +. The 2016 version of the band probably wouldn’t have come up with something as gut-wrenchingly great as The Immortal, a song with such melodic heft and such titanic subject matter it would appear to have been written as the theme of the next (insert super hero name here) movie.

Demise of the Crown haven’t just moved their music to the next level here, they are rapping on the doors to the penthouse suite and demanding entry. The bludgeoning metalcore of their debut is still here, though somehow even the most snub nosed brutality is leavened with a classy approach to songwriting that you might imagine Symphony X employing, should they be just a young band taking their first steps in 2020. The crux of all this, just like last time, is the superb performance of vocalist Darren Beadman.

Beadman truly has all the tools to become one of heavy metal’s key vocalists moving forward. An explosive mix of Ripper Owens, Russell Allen and Archon Angel‘s Zachary Stevens, there appears to be literally nothing in the world of heavy metal vocalising that lies beyond his impressive grasp. He gives several draw-dropping performances on this album, and the band, led as ever by the superior lead guitar work of Manuel Iradian (listen to his coruscating leads on The Rise and the Fall), back him to the full. The title track rounds things out in triumphant, anthemic style, mixing modern sophistication to an old world appreciation of drama and pomp with a supremely listenable result. This really is a band on the up-and-up, and they deserve your patronage.

Life in the City is out on April 24th