Anatomy of Loss is the debut full-length from The Crawling, a trio of death/doomers hailing from Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The melancholy stylings of classic Paradise Lost are strong influences here, so you should have a good idea of what to expect. There isn’t anything groundbreaking about Anatomy of a Loss, but lyrics, tone, and instrumentation all come together to create a solid expression of mourning as expressed in the album’s title and the “dedicated to” section of the liner notes.
Guitarist Andy Clarke does a good job of blending tremolo death riffs, single-note doom riffs, and dissonant chord progressions, making for songs that are varied enough to stay interesting without losing the depressing, bleak edge that is the album’s theme. “All Our Failings” and a few other sections get a bit groovy, which throws off the downcast vibe a bit, and there are a few transitions that are slightly jarring, but highlights like “An Immaculate Deception” and a re-recorded version of “The Right to Crawl” are well composed and feature killer riffs that will lodge themselves in your brain. The airy riffing in “Violence Vanity and Neglect” leaves room for Stuart Rainey’s bouncing bass line, and it’s a nasty combination.
Gary Beattie’s drumming is excellent, alternating between pummeling rhythms and deft fills that are sprayed like bullets. Clarke and Rainey both handle vocal duties. They both employ a fairly typical death metal growl and often combine their voices for an even thicker roar, which works very well. The lyricism is solid – these guys have clearly been through some rough times and express it in a less-than-subtle manner that still comes off as mature.
Anatomy of Loss is enjoyably morose but leaves a listener longing for a bit more. However, The Crawling will be worth keeping an eye on. 7/10