I associate Crestfallen Queen with a wonderful weekend in November 2019: At the Hammer of Doom in Würzburg, the Swabians opened a great festival with a strong performance that focused on their latest studio album Queen of Swords. With this in mind, I was very glad to receive the promo of their new release Hall of Maati – the first EP in the history of the quartet formed in 2017.
First of all, it should be noted that all the Monks among us can rejoice: Crestfallen Queen offer us two songs, which are each exactly ten minutes long. So much order can’t do any harm in these confusing times. It should be mentioned by the way that this preference for long tracks is by no means new: Already on the demo No More Let Life Divide What Death Can Join Together (2017), over 27 minutes of playing time were spread over two compositions. In short: If you like streaming fast food, you should generally avoid this band…
Hall of Maati is characterised on the musical level by numerous The Devil’s Blood vibes – above all, when enjoying the excellent guitar work, I always have Eindhoven in my head, especially the deeply layered compositions from The Thousandfold Epicentre onwards. Of course, this is also due to the dark atmosphere, which fits perfectly with the mythical themes that are the main focus of the EP. So that no misunderstandings arise: Crestfallen Queen, however, sound completely independent, especially since the Germans also sprinkle in hard doom riffs in between, which provide for metallic moments.
The two tracks are very multifaceted. For example, a dreamy, melancholic acoustic guitar appears out of nowhere, accompanied by extremely soulful vocals. All in all, the band succeeds in maintaining the tension for 10 minutes at a time – even the transition between the two songs is masterfully orchestrated.
Without a doubt, the strong performance of singer E (yes, the musicians remind us of The Devil’s Blood in terms of naming…) has to be emphasised: Between highly emotional and fragile and screaming/growling (more or less) she masters everything. Otherwise, you only know so much variety from Thronehammer’s amazing frontwoman Kat. The vocal lines are also very appealing, because Hall of Maati doesn’t present us with anything that we’ve heard dozens of times before.
Conclusion: Hall of Maati is generally recommended to anyone who likes dark, abysmal music with a lot of depth. The Vàn faction will probably get more of their money’s worth than the typical Hammer of Doom visitor. Crestfallen Queen are undoubtedly a special band that can be mentioned in the same breath as other younger German underground artists such as Chapel of Disease, Flame, Dear Flame or Lunar Shadow.