The Crawling are a three-piece Northern Irish Death/Doom metal band that I had the pleasure of experiencing live a few months back at the Siege of Limerick. What grabbed me was their huge sound for just three men, the blackened vocals and doom riffs, that had a certain groove to them. The band recently released their first full length and have amped up the production. The band consist of musicians who have been involved in the metal scene since the late 90’s and deal with death and loss that creates a remorseful touch on their music, as if they are telling of their encounters with such topics.
The album consists of 7 tracks that the band describe as a “dark, dismal examination of loss, regret, and grief”. The album starts off with “An Imaculate Deception”, which had previously been released as a music video. While the band is more or less what I would describe as blackened doom with death metal influence, it is not the slow dragging kind of doom, rather a thumping groove ridden composition, with the perfect combination of higher and lower harsh vocals used at the same time. The chorus of this particular tune uses stabs and stops in such a satisfying way, and has a darker attitude as oppose to the coming sorrowful moods throughout the album. Basically, it’s got a lot of variation throughout, and is tight as can be with a beautiful production that suits the style and replicates their live sound which is what I was previously looking for in their 2015 EP “In Light of Darker Days”.
Songs such as “Poison Orange”, “Violence, Vanity and Neglect” and “Catatonic” have the slow, depressing and doomy riffs you would expect in the genre, however the band know how to please ones taste for slightly more up tempo compositions with songs like “Acid on my Skin” and “All Our Failings”.
It is hard to pick out any flaws with regards to the tracklist the band have prepared. It is the perfect length, production is flawless, the tones of the guitars and especially the bass stand out, the drums keeping it tight behind them, and the use of two vocal types works well. While the atmosphere may feel slightly repeated towards the end, they do what they do and they do it well. What makes the band unique is their riff writing and how it is not traditonal to it’s described genres, I know I’m listening to The Crawling.
The album as a whole has a great selection, as I’m sure most people have their own favourite song, rather than the majority going with the single/music video song. In what replicates their live sound well, the album cuts the shit and gets to the full force riff. The band succeeds at this greatly which sets up their future releases as more than promosing. In what you could call up tempo doom with black metal influence and almost melodic death metal composition, there is something for most extreme metal listeners.
Verdict: The band succeed in replicating their massive live sound, provide tasteful riffs and tones to get your head banging. Their style is their own and they show with this release how it’s done. 83% is my verdict.
Highlights: “The Right to Crawl”, “Acid On My Skin”, “An Immaculate Deception”
You might also like/If you like: Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Gojira