Despite having only emerged from Norn Iron’s dankest extreme metal sewers within the past 12 months, The Crawling are by no means newcomers to the scene over here, with the triumvirate collectively counting nigh on four decades of experience between them. Guitarist Andy Clarke, for example, was the cornerstone of the lamented Honey For Christ, while drummer Gary Beattie pulls double duty with local death dealers Zombified: and that connection doesn’t end there, as the trio are also signed to Zombified singer Pete Clarke’s Grindscene label.
So, it should come as no surprise that ‘In Light Of Dark Days’, the band’s second EP in their short career, should be as solid, accomplished and professional as they could possibly achieve. And, so it is.
‘In Light…’ is wrenched from the darkest, most morbid, most lethargic corners of death metal’s rotten, inchoate soul. It reaches into the genre’s darkest abyss and glorifies in what it finds, taking its putrid heart and crushing it between its gunge encrusted fingernails until what little life is left beats its final beat. The three tracks broil in a cauldron of dank, sickly sweet foulness, before turning on you with the speed and ferocity of a rabid werewolf and ripping your ears from your bloodied skull with their sick viscosity.
The Crawling certainly have raised the bar when it comes to the darker, heavier end of the Northern Irish metal spectrum. With Ceaseless Blight about to stage a long overdue return to action, things could get a tad extreme, not to say bloody, in the not too distant future. I’ll bring the mop…
The Right To Crawl / End Of The Rope / Catatonic
Recommended listening: End Of The Rope
Reviewed by: Mark Ashby