FROM THE SHELF: All Hail the Crown – All Hail the Crown (Whammybox Records, 2011)

The story of All Hail the Crown is an interesting one.  The band has its roots in a project led by guitarist Kevin Wood to bring the lyrics left by his late brother, Andrew Wood, to life.  The story goes that Wood and Regan Hagar began to compose music and recruited Corey Kane and Shawn Smith to form From the North.  An album was recorded and made available at shows before eventually receiving a wider release as Kevin Wood & From the North.

After a couple of personnel changes (Hagar and Kane left the fold and Mike Hommel and Rob Day entered), the band began working on new material.  As From the North was a project to bring Andrew Wood’s lyrics to life, the band renamed themselves All Hail the Crown.

At times it sounds like Steve Vai has joined up with Alice in Chains and other times it sounds like Jimi Hendrix channelled through Tony Iommi.  The opening salvo of High Noon and From The Swamp To The Stars are perfect examples of those heavy twisting cosmic jams, while Planet Of The Apes and Victory Ride are big rusting iron gates.  The highlight, though, might just be the instrumental English Rule.  That’s outrageously good.

If you like Alice in Chains or Soundgarden, I imagine you’ll be just as taken All Hail the Crown.  It hasn’t happened yet, but here’s hoping that they feel like treating us to a second record.

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