Torture and pain might help make for devastating music that can help soundtrack our lives or push us through struggle, but what sometimes gets forgotten is the artist behind that music who has interpreted bruising sorrow in such a tumultuous way. Anything that revels in misery and torture has to be born from something emotionally damaging, which makes the music heavy and affecting.
Over the course of who-knows-how-many releases, Crowhurst, the project long helmed by sole creator Jay Gambit, has been one that’s bled with prolific force. As much music as Gambit releases, many of which are mini efforts and singles, he finds a way to not repeat himself and always dig into something extra. That’s never been truer than of “III,” the final part of a three-album cycle and some of the darkest music of the artist’s entire run. The music here barely resembles what was presented on the other two records—2015’s “I” and 2016’s “II—tied to “III,” much less what else he’s put into the world since the project’s inception not even a decade ago. On this record, you’re met with noise, black metal corrosion, and doom, but also rustic folk, dark singing that’ll carve a hold in your heart, and a vulnerability that puts Gambit on the line over and over, with him bleeding for his audience willingly. He’s joined here by musicians from the gloriously resuscitated Caina (Andy Curtis-Brignell), Primitive Man (Ethan Lee McCarthy), Sol Invictus (Tony Wakeford), and Lycia (Tara Vanflower), adding more grit to this already grimy picture.
“I Will Carry You to Hell” starts the record with noise simmering, choral sounds emerging, and then things are torn apart, with an angelic backing adding chills. Organs spill while Gambit howls, “Into the earth with us,” as the track comes to a grim conclusion. “Self Portrait With Halo and Snake” gives the first glimpse of the brand of morbidity woven into this record as guitars bustle and a western noir feel spreads over, as Gambit notes, “You are the mirror I stare into.” A violent outburst arrives, with Gambit howling, “I’ll be waiting for you,” as shrieks rain down, melody mixes colors, and everything melds into the orange and purple horizon. “The Drift” has noises floating as Gambit pokes at “our anger and our nothingness” while guitars wash over. Shrieks rip into the picture while a spacey guitar haze hangs overhead, a lush shadow gives the song an uneasy vibe, and the sound washes away into a nightmare.
“La Faim” gets started with guitars pushing in as doomy, burly riffs being to reign. Gambit’s singing reminds of Glenn Danzig’s bluesy howl, as the verses slowly punish, building to utter, complete hell. The music melts and crushes, thrashing away, leaving devastation behind. “Ghost Tropic” starts calmly, with Gambit deeply singing about “crawling, bone fragments hanging.” The track picks up and twists screws into the senses, as Gambit cries, “There is no light here, there is no fight here,” as the wiry fury goes out into a buzzing cloud. Closer “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” is named after an old episode of the “Twilight Zone,” and things get started off very heavily and monstrously. The track feels like it’s here to crush your chest as a destructive assault is mounted, and cosmic zapping blasts into the atmosphere. Weird beats scrape away as the blasting feels non-stop, as Gambit screams, “There is no end in sight!” while everything is consumed by a relentless industrial blaze.
Gambit has channeled murky chaos and emotional turmoil over the course of this three-album cycle, and “III” is the darkest, most foreboding of the trio. These songs will crawl into your mind and test your psyche, a battle that you won’t realize how dangerous it is until it’s upon you. Crowhurst albums never can be predicted as far as how they’ll play out and, even with that in mind, “III” will rattle your cages like no other release in the project’s massive catalog.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/crowhurstnoise
To buy the album, go here: https://prophecy.lnk.to/crowhurst-III
For more on the label, go here: https://en.prophecy.de/