REVIEW: Crown The Empire – ‘Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways’

Rise Of The Runaways

Artist: Crown The Empire
Albu: Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways
Genre: Post hardcore
Label: Rise Records

Crown The Empire were basically unheard of until after they released their debut EP, Limitless. The EP drew the attention of thousands of fans, including some of us on staff, as well as Rise Records. Less than six months after its debut the band was quickly signed by the label. A short time after that, they dropped their first full-length album, The Fallout. Between those two releases the band has amassed a large, passionate fan base. They deserve it, and they have changed drastically over the years.

Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways opens with a rather lengthy intro. “A Call To Arms (Act I)” may look like it’s a full song by its length, but it’s actually just an intro with the antagonist proclaiming freedom is a thing of the past. This is a concept album, so the intro kicks the story into high gear. The following track happens to be the first single the band released, which is “Initiation.” When the band first premiered “Initiation” I wasn’t overly impressed. It seems that a few fans have expressed the same sentiment online. I really enjoy the main chorus, but it’s a bit of a surprise to hear the unclean vocalist doing some yells along with the screams. This is a technique they haven’t really utilized in the past.

I find it surprising that I really like the third track, “Millennia,” so much. It’s similar to “Memories Of A Broken Heart.” It’s a little on the slower side, and it happens to have only clean vocals throughout. Andy Leo has a great voice, so it’s easy to enjoy only him singing on a song. The lyrics are catchy, though not incredibly original. Out of the remaining tracks, “Maniacal Me” is tied as my personal favorite. This song reminds me a bit of “Menace” in that it’s a bit on the heavier side and stands out against the other songs. It has a few electronic enhancements tossed in here and there, which helps their theatrical sound.

The title track, “Rise Of The Runaways,” may not be the best song on the album, but it’s certainly the indisputable anthemic track. To be entirely honest, many of the songs on the album sound a bit anthemic. If you weren’t aware of the story the album is telling, you may think some of the songs are a little ridiculous. Even (somewhat) understanding the story, it all seems a bit cheesy. After giving the entire album a few spins, though, it’s easier to get sucked into their storyline. In addition to the overarching theme, the songs also act as a message of independence to fans. They’re reminding people of the importance of uniqueness and freedom. These are all themes and desires that fans can relate to.

The penultimate track, “The Phoenix Reborn,” is the buildup to the climax of the album. It’s the part of the story that’s leading up into “the final battle.” The opening drums sound like snares one may hear on the battle field until they are overpowered by the chanting group vocals. The lyrics speak of fighting a war that has been a long time coming. The song ends with the sounds of gun shots and bombs, then trails off into the one song you’ve been looking forward to hearing this whole time…

“Johnny’s Rebellion” is the other favorite song of mine on the album. It’s partly because of the story they’ve built behind it, and partly because it’s genuinely fun to listen to. The way it ties together with the previous two releases will give you goosebumps. They end the song in a way that suggests there may be another installment in the future, but it’s hard to say at this point. There is only so long you can ride the popularity of something before it gets old. Fans may enjoy a fourth sequel, but may also scoff at the lack of drive to create new stories.

I have been hoping that the band would release something along the lines of Limitless Pt. 2. That EP was unique and refreshing in comparison to the other albums that are being released. I did not enjoy The Fallout as much as I had hoped, but Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways certainly has more going for it. You can hear the progression of the story throughout each track which ends in the only way possible for an over-the-top, theatrical band like this. I look forward to seeing what other stories they come up with in the future.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by Kriston McConnell

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