Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crawl - Mine Maille Shone Not The Light of Death (2012)

Demo / Live, Self-released /Independent
August 1st, 2012

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Not long after I listened to Crawl's demo I purchased the cassette release that follows it titled Mine Maille Shone Not The Light of Death. As I mentioned in that previous post this Texas experiment in tortured ambient doom has found a more unique avenue to express the weight of defeat and uncaring isolation through a simple ceremonial set up of drums, bass and vocals (and here a didgeridoo), and with Mine Maile... Crawl capture this desolate expression more intensely live.

"The recordings herein serve as an interpretation of failure. They are not intended as a gift to the spiritual inner, but merely as a gateway to the tunnels of depression brought unto the underwhelmed. 

These tracks have been released onto tape in order to properly express the beaten and downtrodden aspects of aural imprisonment."

This is how the author wishes to express this records goal and perspective. The three tracks here do a good job at instilling those feelings of swirling around a frigid and dark drain, droning agony filling your consciousness. Instead of shorter dissonant doom spells, on Mine Maille... Crawl is reveling in a slow, blunt bludgeoning from the out set, swamped in rust and archaic ritual odours. However the change is a shift away from the heavily distorted machine-like pace and sound in order to find other paths to grow from.

That is not to say this element is completely gone, but this tape seems more focused elsewhere. The first blow comes in the form of "Breath of the Dying", a ten minute descent marking the start of that different approach for Crawl. This kind of sonic force does well this way if tailored properly — again it's not funeral doom but it's also not the dual bass stoner rockfall of Horse Latitudes either. Crawl desires to meddle in more chilling, martial horrors. After a quiet build that brings the anxiety up with tribal thumps, feeback announces the journey has commenced. With this track it is the closest the record sounds to anything on the first demo (track two would be a good example).

You'll get an intoxicating dose of tone all the way through the opening song from the thick humming and growling that takes heavy swings in the pitch black atmosphere. A solid and slow groove is carved out in the tolls of a girthy bass tone and enormous, hammering percussion in harmony with one another. The way the track flows gives more insight into the title. It progresses to a point of feedback resembling a flat-line and kick/snare drops, and then becomes cold with only the beat that slows drastically like a dying heart in the cold of night.

(Unmarked black cassette)
"Summon Greater Bonespirit" is a pretty substantial track despite what it might sound like. This is where the didgeridoo is utilized to surprisingly great effect, much like a siren in the middle of a either a raging fire or torrential downpour as thunder rolls ominously above. The combination works well, drawing you into Crawls hex from a different position. Those blasts oscillate occasionally as if off kilter sometimes (foreshadowing), the atmosphere only disturbed by eerie whispers in the right channel at around the four minute mark — and suddenly you're shocked from this fade by an augmented howl from the didgeridoo. Digitized, industrialized. Much more 'noise' oriented for that brief section, a very clever use of that instrument in my opinion especially for doom — blending a little death industrial in there.

By now it's easier to recognize that this heap of sludge has been experimenting more even within it's own forming niche, in "Frozen Horror" the ambient side comes out for four minutes but does not expand much. It consists of a chime or bell that has been distorted and morphed, and flexes over the course of the track sounding like something out of a horror film. The dragging samples are the final sounds on the tape.

As a live recording it sounds fucking crisp: bass and drums while pounded ferociously are not distorted or muddy, sharp cymbals, though the vocals are a little too far back. The style though may lend to being a little more buried: frenzied screaming like the angered caws of a raven fighting over a cadaver. It's a cryptic release and feels more like an interlude or teaser of what is to come than a proper or thirst-quenching record but what is hear is not replicated elsewhere too often, if at all.

If you're into the heavy and obscure there's no reason not to check this 19 minute live ritual out, it's free and crushing so I recommend you do. The changes do nothing but make the project more intriguing. Below you can get a taste of Crawl's recent pulverizing ceremony.

Also if you like what you hear you can grab a copy of the limited cassette over at Crawl's big cartel store in both regular and limited edition, and at Murder/Suicide Incidents, or a digital copy on their bandcamp page. I was informed he was going to update the store with more merch in the near future so check back if later if shit's not up. Follow on facebook for show and future release information.

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)


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