Fearless by Crown Lands

Release date: March 31, 2023
Label: Spinefarm Records

Crown Lands have taken the level by carrying the Rush flag and waving it for the next generation of fans discovering the band’s music for the first time. And for Cody Bowles and Kevin Comeau, it’s more than just the spirit of radio. But keeping their legacies growing. And boy can the Canadian duo play their hearts out!

Fearless is the duo’s follow-up to their sole self-titled debut released three years ago. They wear that prog stamp of approval very well. “We heartily embrace the ‘prog’ title”. Comeau describes to Dave Everley in issue 139 from PROG Magazine, “We’re unabashed fans of the greats”.

Listening to their second album is like going through Bowles book realms of sci-fi and fantasy. It’ll make you want to be a nerd all over again. The opening ‘Starlifter: Fearless Pt. II’ which clocks in at 18 minutes, almost sounds like a combination between Starcastle’s first three albums for a brief moment before delving into the planetary solar system of the Hemispheres-era.

You can imagine Lee, Lifeson, and the spirit of Neil Peart are in awe, swelling up, and watching the duo, pour their heart and soul, embarking on this roller-coaster ride, travelling at the speed of light. Moving from the ‘Red Barchetta’ time change and driving into the tunnels with an incredible laser light show, it’ll make you want to headbang like crazy for this tidal waving attack from Bowles’ drum work.

 

Once it goes into the Himalayan landscapes, there’s a brief moment where they walk into the doorstep of Tangerine Dream’s time with Virgin during the Phaedra years before revving up their motorcycles and going into battle. Comeau plays a mean-spirited guitar line, but comes back to his keyboards as they revive the Barchetta once more with a little twist of lemon to Goblin’s 1982 score to Dario Argento’s Tenebre.

‘Dreamer of the Dawn’ sounds like a Queen-sque composition during their Signals-era with a bit of a Brian May approach before the gauntlet comes down for the NWOBHM to return. With a Cedric Bixler-Zavala range, they keyboards rise up for a prog exercise on ‘Right Way Back’.

‘Context: Fearless Pt. I’ starts off with a mellotronic introduction before going medieval on yo’ ass! Again, with the Rush influences, they extend the Barchetta ride once more thanks to Comeau’s double-neck guitar, going into a brutal attack as Geddy watches in awe.

‘Lady of the Lake’ is a mixture of hair metal, power ballads, and the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath period before taking the drive home into a dooming aftermath on what has occurred between the warriors in the ‘Citadel’, followed by a McCartney surprise that speaks the melody of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’.

Crown Lands are the band to watch out for. I wasn’t quite sure on what my reaction was, but from the moment Fearless was played on my iPod touch, they took the levels up to a maximum, and made it, more powerful.

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