Cronian – Erathems

cronianI get the draw and allure of side projects. It’s nice to step out of the comfort zone of a long standing and established band to create with a new set of ideas, parameters, and people… all for the love of musical interaction and creation. Hell, the Swedish and Norwegian scenes were built upon this practice and it has set flight to countless essential albums. With all this in mind, we approach Cronian… the side-project of Borknagar’s own Øystein G. Brun and Andreas “Mr. V” Hedlund aka Vintersorg (also in the band with the same name). Huh… ok… these guys must just gel and love creating music together and want to toil over a fresh new voice. Fair enough! Hitting play on this… sounds exactly like the last (albeit great) Borknagar album. For fans of either Borknager or Vintersorg, I can see this as reason enough to pick Erathems up for it is nearly perfectly sculpted black/commercial/melodic/layered metal that does find a place in my player maybe a bit more often than I would normally admit, but seriously, Cronian tips heavily into the Borknagarian sphere of creative expression than the often pretentious, even prog minded Vintersorg.

Track after track, it is impossible to escape the nearly exact same feel, production and songwriting theme/formula as found on Urd. Vintersorg’s vocal performance even gleans the same phrasing techniques and nuances found on the aforementioned album, so much so, Erathems could have been disc 2 on the Urd extended edition. The big and only real difference here is programmed drums (that sound like authentic modern metal percussion anyway) and the layer of synthetic instruments that lurk on the same level as the guitars. The synth additions are a colorful addition, ranging from subtle lines, to more playful ideas, never detracting from the guitar foundation, rather lifting them up. The track Moments and Monuments arrives with it’s metal-less, though heavily steeped in modern classical meets opera synthetic instrumentation where Vintersorg sings in key for the tracks entirety. A nice break from the established attack, before entering back into the pre-determined emulation of Borknagar.

So there you have it… Cronian’s Erathems is a damn good, though incredibly safe album for those of you out there that are fans of these 2 prolific and talented musicians. -Marty
Season of Mist

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~ by martyworm on March 5, 2014.

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