September 30, 2004

Test Spin: Crowpath

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Imagine a guitarist that has just been punched in the face and knocked to the ground. Now imagine he’s lying face-down on the cement, and that he thinks the only way to escape his pain is to dig through the ground with his guitar. Now imagine there are literally thirty groundhogs in his brain. That’s what this band sounds like: violence, mental instability, and compressed wildlife.

Crowpath is, if you couldn’t tell, a Swedish noise/metal band that might just set a new standard for brutalizing chaos. Their album begins with “Hellbound,” a song which lobs skidding growls on top of jagged, furiously played hyper-riffs that keep entwining and then laying waste to one another. It ends up turning the most cliched sound of metal (obstinate, solidifying permanence) into the most adventurous (morphing, dissolving instability). And it also rocks the brass knuckles off everything from Sabbath to Napalm Death, blazing masochistically through tortuous songs without any respite. The only drawback is when the album folds into bland, simple little ditties that might be fine for goofy power-pop, but make no sense in the context of this album.

Nevertheless, this album has a song called “The Precise Art of Knives,” which is literally a death metal romp through a bunch of clanging knives. That’s an automatic four towers.

Archived article by Alex Linhardt
Red Letter Daze Editor