A Geneva-based heavy metal band who feature Judas Priest, Saxon and Iron Maiden amongst their influences, Headless Crown, are set to release their second album Century Of Decay. A few line-up changes have occurred since their first album, Time For Revolution, in 2015. The line-up for this album is Steff Perrone (Lead Vocals), Manu Froelicher (Guitar), Ced Legger (Guitar), Mack Machet (Bass) and Carlos Bensabat (Drums).
This new release is a concept album based, perhaps inevitably, in a dystopian near future about a nameless worker who tries to escape his meaningless life through his dreams. So far, so not very different!
The opening track, ‘Grinder of Souls’, immediately points to a melding of Maiden and Priest (Painkiller era). The vocals are a little Rob like and their twin guitar attack echoes it too. However, it is only a nod to Headless Crown’s muses. It is different enough to stand on its own and comes across as a high standard heavy metal track. Track two, ‘Listen’, is slower paced and thought-provoking, starting with a lovely bass introduction, before another Priest like riff. Carlos, on the drums, shows how a kick drum should be used and doesn’t overdo the crash cymbals as so many of today’s drummers do! Century of Decay has a bit more melody over a typical heavy, almost thrash-like backing.
‘The Blackness’ is a track which comes over a bit Queensryche but with their own stamp, and it’s all the stronger for it. Most of what we get is similar sounding and needs more differentiation. The last track, ‘Degree Absolute’, is however blessed with a good twin guitar solo/duet, which lifts it from sameyness.
In summary Century Of Decay is a powerful and genuine heavy metal album with many rewards. Instrumentally and vocally strong, with enough changes in feel and pace to keep one’s interest. If you like Painkiller, you will like this.