Blending together death and black metal, Svart Crown doesn’t break any boundaries on their sophomore major effort Witnessing the Fall, but nonetheless does its job - of bringing forth some utterly evil audial chaos - rather convincingly. While the band mostly focuses on heavy and averagely technical rhythmic patterns - both riff and drum-wise - not to forget the death metal growls, there’s a lot of religious black metal atonality going on in the melody department as well, making a sweet, albeit not entirely original, 46-minute whole of modern extreme metal.
What comes to individual songs on Witnessing the Fall, the album suffers from being a little generic: had this album been released in 2000 instead of 2010, I’m sure it would have triggered the interest of a wider audience, being on the quality level of e.g. Averse Sefira. But now, compared to all the other albums in the field (like the just recently reviewed Erebus by the Polish group Hate), Witnessing the Fall does little to shock the listener, no matter how convincingly Svart Crown delivers its malicious sounds and how well the members handle their instruments (after all, Witnessing the Fall is technically far from the cheapest and easiest metal albums).
Hence I find it hard to name even any particular standout moments from the album, but what is certain is that Witnessing the Fall moves enough swiftly to not bore me: tempo is often kept at high levels but there are slightly slower moments too amidst all the constant firing. ”An Eternal Descent” is worth mentioning, building up to a sweet melodic climax in the end, and the ending track ”Of Sulphur and Fire” partially laden with doom metal slowness and murkiness. Overall, Witnessing the Fall is a successful release that could however do better by adding something more original to the mix, but I’m certain that this satisfies many black/death metal listeners as it is.