Skip to main content

CD review: 'In Light of Dark Days' - Chordblossom

Lurking in the shadows of Northern Ireland’s music culture is a healthy and vibrant extreme metal scene, showcasing the best doom, death and black metal that the province has to offer. These bands plug away determinedly, recording and gigging and honing their dark crafts to a loyal and knowledgeable audience.

One such band is Lisburn’s The Crawling who emerged in late 2014, created by three veterans of the extreme metal scene: vocalist and guitarist Andy Clarke, who fronted metallers Honey For Christ; bassist and vocalist Stuart Rainey from death metal legends Severance; and drummer Gary Beattie, who still plays with death metal whizz kids Zombified. Within a year they had enough material to record their debut EP In Light of Dark Days, which was released on Grindscene Records in October 2015. Then, to cap off a near perfect year for the band, they won 2016’s Metal 2 the Masses here in Northern Ireland (you can read about the final here) and played the hallowed grounds of Bloodstock Festival just a few short weeks ago.

The EP opens in suitably ominous fashion with ‘The Right To Crawl’, with an enthralling snarly riff throughout and Clarke’s deep, throaty vocals spat with disdain towards the subject of the song (“You spread defeat like an antidote to try…the only thing you’ve earned is the right to crawl”). The speed of the song waxes and wanes between slower and faster sections which adds real texture, while the song itself is tightly controlled but still with a deep sense of foreboding and barely reigned in contempt.

Track two, ‘End of the Rope’ also has a fairly restrained intro, before a doomy riff along with the vocals and the atmosphere drops several degrees. Containing both the chug of doom metal and the coldness of death metal, it’s that chug that drives the song, while the images conjured up are as eerie as hell (“her blood runs cold…bring her home”).

It’s the last track, the eight and a half minute long ‘Catatonic’ that really shines a light onto their shadowy brilliance. Beginning with a storm soundtrack, its ominous, creeping intro gives way to a sawing riff and a rather tragic tale of watching over a loved one in a coma (“Leave the wires that tie you down”). The song has a doomy, gloomy ebb and flow, with some magnificent drumming throughout, particularly the faster sections. The song builds in intensity to its conclusion (“I miss him. Now let me go”) before fading to a desolate outro that will make you shiver.

Behind the pop, indie rock and dance music that makes the headlines here in Northern Ireland, the metal scene – and indeed, the extreme metal scene – is just as exciting and engrossing, as is clearly demonstrated on The Crawling’s debut release. If you like your music with a bit of darkness, blood and atmosphere, this is an excellent place to start (or continue) your descent away from the light. Come this way…


Melanie Brehaut
ChordBlossom

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interview at Bloodstock 2016 - 'Total Rock' podcast

Total rock caught up with the band at Bloodstock - listen to the interview and a track on their podcast! Listen here!

Cheers guys!


CD review: 'Anatomy Of Loss' - Ram zine

There’s some great titles on this album and one is ‘An Immaculate Deception’ that possesses some tough and twisting rhythms with a deep dark grunting vocal that you can feel in your gut as it rips your intestines out!
Moving on to the next track ‘Poison Orange’ I can almost hear the band laughing when they thought up this track title, but also can feel the harshness brooding as it plays out and leaks its venomous liquid through its vicious assault, and this is without being played fast.

‘Acid on my Skin’ speaks volumes from its title and will have you believe that it is toxic and caustic and of course you would be right to believe as its abrasive mark is made with a very potent vocal and large slices of darkened rhythms.

‘All Our Failings’ is a very imposing track that holds a lot of insatiable bait. It begins fast and then slows down to reveal that it can’t make up its mind if it wants to move faster or slower so you just have to go along with the flow, however, the track contains real…