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CROWN OF THORNS
DESTINY UNKNOWN

Point Music / Voodoo Island Records
Produced by: Jean Beauvoir

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: Too Individual
GENRE: AOR
OVERALL: 75%

  1. Intro
  2. Birds On A Wire
  3. End Of The Century
  4. Buried Alive
  5. Missionary Remedy
  6. Here She Comes
  7. Lonely Is The Rose
  8. Crying Game
  9. Heaven Tonight
  10. Time
  11. Long Way Home
  12. Runaway
Crown Of Thorns' fourth full studio album is a curious affair. Curious, in that only after one album of returning to their solid melodic roots on Lost Cathedral, the band heads out again on a path of self discovery, experimentation and modernization.
Saying that, the band turn in some of their classic best, but spread it between a few tracks that might be hit or miss for some listeners.
After a really strange intro - one that sets up the pretence for the whole similarly themed album - the album rocks into classic Crown Of Thorns mode with a rocking acoustic tune that is over way too soon!
Birds On A Wire is a great fast paced pop rocker and features strong vocals from Jean Beauvoir.
Mixing classic COT with a modern and somewhat varied tempo is End Of The Century. A furious verse leads into a more expected AOR chorus. Then there is a section of pure rapping before the music drops out altogether for Jean to sing the band into that big chorus again. Cool changes in tempo.
Buried Alive is the first of one of those left of center tracks. There is plenty of melody of course and lots of guitar, some distorting, but the vocals are a little alternative and may not appeal to all COT fans.
Missionary Remedy also takes some getting used to. It's a really moody pop flavored tune with a subtle chorus that needs a few listens.
Here She Comes is again different to what we have come to expect from the band. But it's a pretty cool ballad - a soft synth beat over a very pop vocal, with very laid back acoustic backing.
Lonely Is The Rose is classic and wonderful overblown big anthem Crown Of Thorns. Throw in some orchestral keyboards and a guitar solo or two and you have a great song.
Crying Game is another different track. There is a synth/dance beat that underlies the song, but I have to admit I am not into the semi-spoken chorus all that much.
Heaven Tonight continues the roller coaster ride from hot to cold. This one is hot! Another classic Crown Of Thorns song. Easily one of the best of the album.
Time is different yet again. A pop/dance rhythm underneath the song, while the guitar and vocal leads it down a moody rock path. An interesting song, with intelligent use of the varied styles. I like it.
Then it's more classic stuff on the mid paced moody rocker Long Way Home.
The guys end the album with Runaway, a really classy moody acoustic pop rock ballad in the vein of the great Beatles. Modern rock radio should be all over this. DJs are you listening?
BOTTOM LINE: Without being too harsh, it's an album that some times misses what I think fans will be after, but when they hit - 6 tracks at least - the band have supplied some of their best recordings ever. The more open minded you are, the more you will get from the more experimental sound, but there's enough on here for any COT fan.
PRODUCTION: 75%SONGS: 78%VIBE: 73%ATTITUDE: 78%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Crown Of Thorns fans, modern pop/AOR fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Solo; Voodoo X; . Crown Of Thorns . Rare Thorns (Compilation) . Killer Thorns (Compilation) . 21 Thorns (Compilation) . Breakthrough . Lost Cathedral . Destiny Unknown



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