It is a bit odd that Black Crown Initiate peaked on this, their debut EP, considering that most bands have not usually found their voice and honed their vision at the start of their career, but with Song of the Crippled Bull, we have a work of incredible focus and perfect execution. At 21 minutes, not one second is wasted on this progressive death metal journey. Songs weave and bob, effortlessly alternating between powerful clean vocals and devastating harsh vocals, and clean guitar lines and absolutely crushing riffs (courtesy of 8-strong guitars), while always remaining tight and coherent. The bass is noteworthy because it is actually integral to each song and is quite prominent, and drums - though programmed - lay down an incredible foundation to complete the bottom end. Thoughtful lyrics, crystal clear yet impactful production, and dynamic song structures round out the package. Though comparable to Fallujah, Allegaeon, and their ilk, this provides more punch in a more compact package. Simply lethal.
Favorite track: The Mountain Top.