Their debut EP didn’t so promise great things as deliver them, straight out of the traps.
A deep, heavy doom, influenced by the death metal end of the spectrum, wrangling out riffs borne of old My Dying Bride and modern Novembers Doom to name but two influences.
An album’s full of will always be a challenge in terms of momentum and variety – but The Crawling do indeed rise to the occasion.
I’d noted before a feel at times similar to Mourning Beloveth, and that’s something that bleeds through the slow, sparse, ‘Poison Orange’ – even vocalist Stuart’s range is at time similar to Darren Moore’s.
As noted last time, Stuart’s age old death metal growl is an absolute highlight of this band’s offering. And that’s a highlight among other highs: the guitars and drums are both absolutely crisp, chunking and excellently defined in the whacking production.
So ‘Poison Orange’ a simplistic track. But it’s one that allows atmosphere to build until ‘Acid On My Skin’ is allowed just a smidgen more rock pace. A smidgen, mind: not much. It’s immediately bettered by the nastier and more malevolent riff in ‘All Our Failings’.
Both ‘The Right To Crawl’ and ‘Catatonic’ have been reprised from the EP, and are easily the standouts here. As noted last time round, the gathering pace of the former gives much needed vibrance at this point in the album while the woebegone atmosphere of the latter just drips pathos.
Three tracks was a superb dose of misery where the EP was concerned. As I’ve mentioned, stretching out such doom over an album always needs just that extra push of creativity and verve to make it really unstoppable for the listener.
While it is solid – absolute rock solid, be in no doubt – I don’t feel that extra frisson of misery, mystery or atmosphere is just quite there throughout these seven tracks in a way that compels the listener to return in the way the EP did.
But at its best it is an impressively heavy and indeed at times oppressive burden of doom metal in the traditional style.
A few more guitar harmonies would have added much, indeed even some more guitar textures too, such as the fantastic reverse reverb at the start of ‘Poison Orange’. Those are the things that really make a difference, and should be capitalised on.
An incredibly heavy, Saturnus-like insistence on cold misery and tunnel visioned delivery of it that should please doom fans and see the band do well – but just missing that something special that would have really lifted it on this occasion.
More guitar melody next time would be top of my wishlist.
3.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 25/04/17