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The Crown | 14 Years of No Tomorrow | review | dvd | Lollipop
14 Years of No Tomorrow (Metal Blade)
by Tim Den
As the last will and testament to The Crown's glorious Swedish death metal legacy (previously believed to be the crushingly astonishing Crowned Unholy), 14 Years of No Tomorrow is a massive three-disc set that includes a "documentary," four live shows, and an extensive amount of amateur footage of the band playing over the years. A bit much? Maybe, but it does a great job of capturing the band at every stage of development, not to mention satisfies diehard fans' wishes to have enough material to return to for years (since the band will sadly never release anything new again). Some aspects of the DVD set are better than others - the "documentary" is no more than cue cards written in "horror letter" style, no interviews with the members - but where else are you gonna see footage of the Tomas Lindberg-fronted version of The Crown playing "The Poison," "Angels Die," and "Deathexplosion"?
The live shows range from the pristine (Wacken Open Air 2002) to the horribly mangled (most of disc three), but it's great to see the band rampage through old and new material and pull off most of it perfectly. Drummer Janne Saarenpää in particular is unstoppable, almost never missing a microbeat as he furiously tears every song a new one. Amazing to see how the young man shown on the early clips ("Seventh Gate," "Beyond Where Darkness Dwells," the never-before-released "In Tears") turned into a flawless machine. The rest of the band matured quite well too: Vocalist Johan Lindstrand slowly went from an awkward teenager to a ferocious tiger who, in moments of pure aggression, would slightly shake his head back and forth, spewing venom and resembling a beast ripping a apart its prey. Great metal frontmanship.
Another note of interest is the contrast between American and European audiences. Though both sides of the pond obviously appreciated The Crown, it's obvious that the band were much more comfortable playing to their home continent, where metalheads still have long hair, headbang, and are outsiders to mainstream society's fashion rules. Unable to get the crowd to chant or agitate their necks, at times it feels awkward to witness the band put forth so much energy only to receive half of it back. The sea of emometal haircuts, trendy tattoos, and bad piercings makes me ashamed to be an American metalhead.
But 14 Years of No Tomorrow is not about critiquing metal etiquette, it's about preserving The Crown's memory and doing the band's works justice. And that it does that and more, as the three discs give you more than your money's worth. Whether you've been into 'em since the demo days or sadly never caught on 'til they were no more, this set will ensure that you will praise The Crown forever.