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CD review: 'In Light of Dark Days' - Metal Temple

THE CRAWLING is a three-piece Slow Death/Doom Metal band, originating in the United Kingdom, but now located in Northern Ireland. Formed in 2014, this is the band’s debut EP release, which contains three tracks. The six-minute “The Right to Crawl” opens the EP. True to the genre description, it is a slow moving song with a doomy feeling. The vocal style varies in range from low to high, but much of it is in the upper register and I can’t help but hearing some Black Metal influence to this song as well, especially when the song picks up pace, presumably during the chorus section. The song has substantial weight as well, as if it was slowly crushing the breath out of you.

“End of the Rope” is the second track. This four-minute song has a pensive and suspenseful opening, until the main distorted guitar kicks in the door with the force of a giant from the mountains beyond. Lumbering vocals and sunken guitar notes underscore the bottomless and hopeless feeling of the song, and this is clearly not what you would call happy music. Instead, it digs deep to expose the somber and lightless side of Metal music. “Catatonic” closes the EP; an eight-minute opus. A slowly falling rain and occasional rumble of a thunderhead set the stage for the song. The lumbering main riff is impossibly slow and almost hypnotic, and the vocal wails are especially lamenting in nature. Similar to the first track, there is a second riff that is a bit quicker and held steady by double bass beats. It’s an aptly titled song. When I think of the word “catatonic,” I picture people rotting away in an institution, barely able to move or speak. The droning rhythm and meter of this song embodies this image in many ways. Overall, I find this to be a promising debut EP from a band that hits the dark recesses of this style deeper than most.

SCORE: 7/10

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6


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