PICK OF THE WEEK: Swedish killers Crawl mix death metal, crust on damaging debut record ‘Rituals’

It’s been a long week, a miserable month, and every single day the news gets even shittier and more impossible to comprehend what’s wrong with some people. The cycle never seems to end, so when things are at their most ridiculous, a huge slab of filthy death metal always does the trick.

Swedish beasts Crawl answer the bell with their killer debut record “Rituals,” a nine-track, 25-minute mauler that burns the wick on both ends, violently so, as they rip out sooty, grimy death metal packed with noise and some hardcore and crusty meanness. If you’re new to the band but have records from Entombed, Dismember, Converge, Trap Them, and Gatecreeper taking up room on your shelf, chances are Crawl’s first foray into the world surely can find some space. The band wastes no time getting things going and boiling heavily, and as that short run time indicates, they deliver just the right amount of nourishment before they get out, leaving you bruised and bloodied. The band— vocalist Joachim Lyngfelt (Dråp, ex-Decomposed), guitarist/bassist Martin Sjögren (ex-Discarnate), and drummer Amir Batar (ex-Demonical, ex-Tormention)—only has been together about four years, but they already have this impressive record on their resume, which should be the start of something bloody.

“Reject the Cross” rips the record right open with chunky death metal and gruff growls from Lyngfelt. The hardcore fumes pour out of this thing, with the track getting gritty and furious, and the title wailed over and over. “Breathing Violence” has a hammering pace, as the band mashes bones, the growls punish, and the assault is super chugging before giving way. “The Stench” has guitars welling up and flooding, before the track hits the brakes and delivers a slower paced, but ultra-heavy beating. Feedback scorches, while the song powers into the mud, and a beastly assault hammers home the exclamation point. “Black Ritual” unloads flattening riffs and harsh growls, while the pace spits nails. A thick bassline emerges, as Lyngfelt howls the song’s title amid a thick cloud of smoke.

“Trail of Traitors” simmers in a pit of mud, as bludgeoning thrashing tears through the seams, and harsh cries blast panic before the song’s abrupt end. “Sentenced to Rot” gets powered up right away, as the pace stomps hard, and the playing is fast and ferocious. That killer assault strangles you and robs you of your air, paving the way toward “Cowards,” which is utterly decimating. The guitars smother, with ferocious cries dealing heavy blows, the guitars twisting muscle and flesh, and the lightning-fast tempo making short work of this killer. “Suffer” stampedes toward the gates, with the guitars giving off a Slayer vibe, and the violence being served up generously. Growls continue to pelt, as some nasty riffs bring this thing to an end. Closer “Coven of Servants” is the longest track at 4:41, and riffs spiral and flatten everything in front of it. A mix of yells and shrieks is splattered together, while the band puts the finishing touched on the song by employing meaty riffs  and noise ringing out, almost like a flatline.

Despite their name, Crawl hardly are on their hands and knees sneaking up on anyone, as their thunderous debut “Rituals” is far too destructive and noisy. This is a really promising first step for this Swedish band, and if this is just the start, who knows where these guys go from here? This is crusty, creeping, sooty death, and it’s the ideal antidote for lashing back at an unfair world.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/CRAWLSWE/

To buy the album, go here: https://tometal.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/

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