3 Jul 2017

Crawl - Worship Death (Bloodsoaked Records - 2016)

Crawl delivers crust punk infused death metal and as fit doesn't worry for a second about sounding pretty or polished. "Worship Death" is a fittingly titled EP released by Bloodsoaked Records which offers varied material and displays all of the bands sides within the three tracks it contains.
"Worship Death" was released as a 7-inch vinyl in a limited run of 500 copies, of which I snagged myself one rather immediately. The package was of high quality and included a large embroidered patch featuring the cover art. Clocking in at just barely over ten minutes, and me being unfamiliar with their first demo release, I was expecting something along the lines of short, blastbeat-ridden numbers, and not much more. Crawl does however have more tricks up their sleeve.

When the needle of my turntable hits the spinning 7-inch Crawl lays down the law before I've even managed to take a seat in my designated listening chair. Vocalist Joakim Mikiver barks out a classic "Uh!" as  perfectly crunchy guitars, topped of on HM2-steriods, rings out in frenzied feedback noise. Mid-paced and catchy death metal marches out of the speakers, all very tightly held together by the stable beat of Ämir Batar's drums, but in no way polished or prettied-up. In fact the whole soundscape has a garage-like aura, which fits the music just perfectly. The chorus in the opener "Altar" makes you want to down fifteen cans of Swedish folköl, in true punk fashion, and bellow along as Joakim shouts "the bodies reek of death, fucked by the altar".

The track seamlessly rings into the following "Drenched" which surprisingly opens with a riff you wouldn't be shocked to find on the next album by Sleep or Electric Wizard, this infused with Crawl's already mentioned sound makes the mind wander to the likes of Autopsy. It doesn't take the long for the band to dive back into the realms of death metal and crust punk again though. This alteration continues throughout the whole track, keeping the listener on his or her toes. I don't know if Joakim is the sole person responsible for the vocals or the high-pitched screams thrown in between his low grunts are backup vocals lain down by guitarist Martin Sjögren or bass player Adam Andersson, if so they are not credited. They are frequently used in all tracks though, and contributes to a lot of Crawl's attitude.

A riff heavy as anything you could imagine leads into the final track "Endless Grave", which has more drive to it than the previous song with it's chugging guitars. The verses here are a bit thrashier and lead nicely into the heavier sections of the track, and man are they heavy. Crawl manages to keep the tracks short and effective even when trudging forward in a somewhat leisurely tempo, in fact no track here reaches four minutes, and some little more than three.

"Worship Death" leaves me hungry for more, and is a good exhibition of what Crawl has to offer. The humble playing time is not an issue as the songs are varied enough to warrant a couple of listens in a row before moving on. Since the release of the EP Joakim and Adam has left the band and they have instead been joined by Joachim Lyngfelt of Dråp on vocals, leaving the bass chair vacant. To my knowledge they are working on a full length release, hopefully they will manage to keep my interest peaked on a longer running time as well. "Worship Death" makes me go "Uh!" 8/10 times.

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