The Crawling is a doom/death metal outfit from Northern Island. Forming in the winter of 2014, the Crawling has seen critical acclaim for their previously released debut single and 3 track EP, In Light of Dark Days. 2016 was an enormous year for the band, performing at Inferno Metal Festival in Norway, Bloodstock Open Air in England and headlining successful local shows. With their recent success and popularity, they secured a main stage slot at the Siege of Limerick festival in Southern Ireland. Now with their eyes firmly set on 2017, The Crawling have dropped their anticipated debut album, Anatomy of Loss.
The album is centred on the themes of loss and regret and how the mind finds coping mechanisms to deal with these emotions. The opening track, An Immaculate Deception, sets the tone of the album with a groovy death metal inspired riff and the thundering guttural screams from vocalist Andy Clarke. With a run time of just under 6 minutes this opener engulfs you in the world The Crawling has created.
The next tracks, Poison Orange and Acid on my Skin drag you deeper into their domain with their thick guitar riffs and slower doomier atmosphere. Poison Orange is a nod to My Dying Bride, with the long drawn out guitar riffs and chaotic moments that My Dying Bride has mastered. The Crawling have blended their sounds extremely well on this track, creating one of the highlights of the record. These doomier aspects trickle down into Acid on my Skin with a continually rising chaotic element towards the end of the track that leads into All Our Failings heavy riffs and more energetic style.
The stand out track on the record is The Right To Crawl. This song opens up with a riff that just beckons you to come closer. Andy’s vocals punch through the thick atmosphere and add another layer of pain that this track oozes. The chorus quickens the pace leaving the listener with a wall of sound, then just as fast as it came, the wall is gone and that beautiful doom inspired riff is back leaving you with a sense of loss. Personally this is my favourite track on the album as it combines doom/death metal with the themes of the album amazingly.
The next track on the album is Violence Vanity and Neglect followed by Catatonic. Violence Vanity and Neglect opens with an 80’s love inspired riff then quickly transcends into despair. The Crawling offer something new in this track with a beautiful guitar section towards the end of the song, it breaks up the onslaught and shows a bit of experimentation from the band, which they pull off. Catatonic is a perfect end to the album, don’t let the start fool you as this is the heaviest song on the album. The intensity increases the further you venture into the track, before the record finally lets go of the listener with the soothing outro of rain.
This album is a fantastic debut from The Crawling. They have successfully created a journey through misery and have shown a snapshot into the bands coping mechanisms. Overall this album is a good listen for any doom or death metal fan out there. They have found a space between the two genres and I am looking forward to seeing them create and carve it into their own.