Fredrik Croona - The Grey Line
Released 2015 by Advoxya Records
It seem as if often our pages are painted with the goings on of Fredrik Croona, the man best known for his project Cynical Existence. However, as stated in a recent interview I did with the man, he wanted to start another side project that would allow him to make music by himself. The thought came to him after he added both members of Preemptive Strike 0.1 and Rave the Reqviem to his roster on Cynical Existence. With the release of his new album "The Grey Line" under his sole name, Croona has made a return to form.
I think what most people will be shocked by is Croona has actually sung on this album. I know, I know, we are all very well used to his gritty, and undeniably stylistic approach to screaming that has stretched out for the duration of his CE career (as well as his multiple other side projects), but he has a new, soft approach to making music as well.
I will admit that I was pretty turned off by his newer chords on the opening track to the album, 'Always The Same'. I thought that they, and the song itself, was pretty subpar compared to his other material from other projects. However, once I hit 'Everytime I Die', I found myself enjoying his singing a lot more. They were more intact and in place, and I felt the futurepop influences kick in with this track.
That's not to say that Croona has done away with his screams, however. They are very much alive and well, and brush many of the songs on the album. 'Close Your Eyes', 'Disgrace', and 'I Tried' are just a few to name. The last of those are among my favorite tracks on the album; very trance laden, very dancey, very fun, and very fast. Those four traits combined made 'I Tried' the stand out track on the album.
As far as collaborations go, Croona got Preemptive Strike 0.1 and electronic musician Patrik Hansson of Vanguard to help out on the album. Hansson came along on the track 'Stand My Ground' and delivered some wicked vocals. Paired next to Croona's music, a darker but sensual sound emerged and Hansson's voice only served to spice up the flavor that much more. And, with Preemptive Strike 0.1 featured on 'The Path', you will get what you expect from them. The track came out to be a little bit more heavy, but maintained faith to a clubby dark trance track that was pretty damned good.
So, in the end, I'm liking Croona's solo project. His screams are as good as they have been, and the beats are coming in as an evolved form of pre-Preemptive Strike 0.1, pre-Rave The Reqviem Cynical Existence. Take what Croona used to do with CE, add a bit of a light touch with smooth vocals, and you have what is essentially Fredrik Croona just with enough differences to make it count.
Now, the only last question that remains is to whether or not Croona will keep this solo project up. After all, he is known for creating a lot of side projects, some of which still live, and some of which die off. I'm hoping he'll be keeping this project alive for days to come. I'm wondering how much better both his singing and his music production skills will come as time goes on.Sep 04 2015
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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Fredrik Croona - The Grey Line is available at POPONAUT from 12,45€