Crowhaven - Emotional Adjustment

This is an album that came out in 1986, rare as rocking horse waste, this has a deserved re-release, limited to 300 copies and a music cavalcade of ideas that you may find hard to pinpoint at first listen but develops into a truly worthy addition as time passes from this band from Kentucky in the US.

‘Paradise’ provides a nice build up but the real action starts with ‘Testify’. It has a classic metal feel of the time from when it was recorded, rough vocals or rather a little gritty somewhere between Glenn Danzig, Jim Morrison and a touch of the eccentric side of Alice Cooper with a raw chord structure and dirty sounding recording quality making it a touch darker with a sprinkle of some early 80’s British bands from the NWOBHM movement. Some of the arrangements, especially the very cool ‘Time & Time Again’ have me thinking of Quicksand Dream, Manilla Road and bands of that style.

The majority of this release finds the vocal stance and music of Gary Duncil in top form. Epic music in fact, like that found on ‘Hero’ by possessing more galloping guitar structures that gives you a hunger to delve further into the minds of these songwriters, but I think the fade out is too soon, there is more going on here! For me ‘Changes’ stands out far and wide in terms of the rest of the release. It sounds like the early demo material of Pagan Altar, a little epic, a little folky, but certainly metal in its raw format for this style. There will certainly be a few Manilla Road fans into this release with a hunger for a darker more sinister sound. ‘The Crow’ is one of those slower soulful tracks which oozes emotion conveyed by Duncil’s vocals and it develops further into the eerie category backed by a keyboard and acoustic electric guitar parts that crescendos with doom ridden character so spectacularly.

This is a cool re-issue of a hard to find obscure release that has great material and it’s a genuinely great find. That being said, Crowhaven had some great ideas and it’s a shame that they never got massive credit at the time. It’s a mixed bag, but a worthy bag of early expansive metal music that takes a little time to get into. The news is that the band are going to record another album soon, based on ‘Emotional Adjustment’, that will be something that could turn out to be very interesting. This album certainly makes you think, it ponders your categorisation as it’s not of one particular breakout style.

  1. Paradise  
  2. Testify 
  3. Time & Time Again  
  4. Little Angel  
  5. Don't Tell Me  
  6. Heavy Metal Darlin'  
  7. Hero  
  8. The Crow  
  9. Changes  
  10. Just Let Go (bonus track)