Trounce – The Seven Crowns

Trounce is a new Swiss band featuring Coilguns guitarist and Hummus Records founder Jonathan Nido as most notable member. They are joined by ex-The Ocean drummer Luc Hess. This six-member group has just released their debut album The Seven Crowns. As an extra treat you also get a live recording of their performance at Roadburn. For those who know the band and were there, this will undoubtedly be a valuable addition. But for starters, let’s focus on the 43-minute debut disc to get a good impression. It’s dark music with influences from a myriad of musical genres, including black metal, rock, post-rock, and various other crazy mindfucks. You can also expect elements of doom, noise, punk, and a healthy dose of horror.

To fully enjoy The Seven Crowns it is essential that you can appreciate the vocal aspect. There are no less than three vocalists, with one of them being quite prominent. The singing isn’t particularly perfect but is intense and captivating. And there are even screaming grunts present in The Goose and the Swan. The rhythm section pounds away like mad, and combined with the guitar riffs, it occasionally brings Dark Funeral to mind. The rest of the arrangement, however, is another beast entirely, as you can hear a diverse range of other influences. The synthesizer and added noise play a role, giving the songs a layered sound. During the initial listens you can try to follow everything but you will probably not immediately succeed, which makes The Seven Crowns an intriguing album for me because there’s so much to discover. The Crippled Saint is a good example of this complexity, fortunately never descending into a messy blur, which is quite remarkable.

By using ominous guitar riffs (Death of the Good Men), the overall atmosphere is one of suspense and full of variety. The band often reminds me, musically, of Anaal Nathrakh, particularly during the intense and frenzied parts. A track like The Circus, on the other hand, reveals a completely different side of Trounce. The Swiss musicians traverse through this track with a somewhat more pronounced sense of sludge and noise. It sounds less impressive than the first tracks of the album, creating a sort of division between the first and second half. The subsequent track, Walls, feels less convincing as well. It’s as if the soda has lost its fizz, or there’s a light version to replace what came before. Towards the end the band makes a valiant effort to get the energy back up, which is something that I appreciate and is immediately noticeable in the closing track, The Wheel. It’s a lively and remarkably spirited end to the debut album.

And then, lastly, there’s the live recording. It features an active but not overly audible audience and, surprisingly, a Roadburn Prologue, which makes much more sense live than on an album. Since it’s over seven minutes long, it might be valuable only for fans who were actually present. However, the dripping and mystical sound perception at the beginning is not that unpleasant to listen to. The guitars gradually rise, the tension builds, and ethereal chants fill the space. Until the moment The Crippled Saint, one of the strongest tracks previously discussed, bursts forth. The recording is clear enough, although obviously not as balanced as the studio work, carrying plenty of atmosphere for a live recording. As usual, there are many improvisations for the Roadburn performance. Among these, Echoes, Many Waters Cannot Drown Love, and Arias from the Empty Room don’t appear on the debut album. Many Waters Cannot Drown Love actually is an adaptation of the song Faith, Hope, Love, being a beautifully tragic piece of music, which, of course, goes seamlessly with the themes of horror and esoterica. As the concert progresses, I am getting more and more envious not having been present at this undoubtedly extraordinary performance. The remainder of this live experience doesn’t disappoint either, with the frenetic The Wheel, as it did on the studio album, putting a big smile on my face. What an energy, what a performance!




Hummus Records, 2023


The Seven Crowns – Studio album

  1. The Seven Sleepers
  2. Faith, Hope, Love
  3. Stones
  4. Codex
  5. The Goose and the Swan
  6. The Crippled Saint
  7. Silene
  8. Death of the Good Men
  9. The Circus
  10. Walls
  11. The Wheel

The Seven Crowns – Live at Roadburn

  1. Roadburn Prologue
  2. The Crippled Saint
  3. Echoes
  4. Stones
  5. The Goose and The Swan
  6. Codex Unsealed
  7. Many Waters Cannot Drown Love
  8. The Circus
  9. The Wheel
  10. Arias from the Empty Room
  11. Walls


  • Luc Hess – Drums
  • Renaud Meichtry – Vocals
  • Naser Sulejmani – Guitar
  • Anna Sauter-McDowell – Noise
  • Lea Martinez – Synthesizer, vocals
  • Jonathan Nido – Guitar, vocals