Back in April of last year, The Crawling set tongues a-wagging with the release of their debut album, The Anatomy Of Loss; an album of brutal but melodic death metal with a smidgen of doom thrown in for good measure. Frankly, it went down a storm and just eighteen short months later, the lads have returned with their sophomore album Wolves And The Hideous White.
The Crawling based their debut album around relationships – in particular the feelings of helplessness and despair that people can often experience when embroiled in a tempestuous union – and now those feelings have turned to contempt and disgust….and it makes for one hell of a great listen!
Consisting of six reasonably lengthy songs, Wolves And The Hideous White is thankfully bereft of any flab and a crystal clear production means each carefully considered track lands heavy-weight blows. With a tempo that rarely rises above mid-paced, it’s the classics of death/doom which spring to mind as songs such as “Still No Sun”, “Rancid Harmony” and the dense title track are carried along by riffs as hard as Mourne granite, with sparse melodic interludes and the propulsive drumming of Gary Beattie adding fervour to the mournful flavour.
Most notable is how The Crawling have produced an album of intelligence and, despite the guttural roar of frontman Andy Clarke, of rough hewn beauty. It’s a balance that’s harder to strike than you might think and yet, with Wolves And The Hideous White, The Crawling have perfectly rendered their graceful and destructive cadence with ease.
Making music as bleak as their home town town of Lisburn, Northern Ireland, The Crawling have managed to evoke strong memories of the fabled Peaceville Three in their 90’s prime and, with Wolves and The Hideous White, an already great year for metal has just got that little bit better (and bitter).
Rarely has disgust sounded so damn good! 9/10