Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Deathcrawl- 'Accelerated Rate of Decay' (Album Review)


By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/10/2012
Label: Independent



Overall, this superb record should enthuse the listener to listen to it again and again- its blackened sludge mixed with doom and black elements make it a varied and worthwhile listen. ‘Acclerated Rate of Decay’ has it all- great vocals, cool production tricks, riffs to rewind repeatedly and a nice sinister vibe throughout. Try it and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!

 
‘Accelerated Rate of Decay’ CD//DD track Listing

1) Burned Out (07:46)
2) Kill Or Be Killed (04:04)
3) Dead Is Dead (05:27)
4) Blight (6:58)
5) Disturbing The Earth (08:43)
6) Maginot (05:11)
7) Despite Our Best Efforts (05:20)
8) Lucifer's Hammer (06:20)

Deathcrawl is

"BigMetal" Dave Johnson | Drums, throat, nord.
Damon "the Damonowskivich" Gregg | Guitar, throat.
Jason Luchka | Bass, throat, moog,  accordian.

The Review
 
Ohio seems like a perfect place for a band such as Deathcrawl to hail from- being as the state is on the cusp of several areas of the US it is not quite a part of any of them. It is almost the Mid West, almost the North East and even borders the much more southern flavoured Kentucky.  Similarly, Deathcrawl use diversity to their advantage. There are elements of black, doom and more progressive material in the sludge on this, their second full length.  From the ominous, droning feedback that ushers in ‘Burned Out’ it is clear that ‘Accelerated Rate of Decay’ is going to be a somewhat different listen. The vocals come in early with a distinctly black metal flavour. There are crashing chords and sludge type riffing to savour with some distinct and odd rhythms powering things along. There is also a cyclical structure and even, dare I say it... hooks. A burst of pace towards the end means that this opener sets out Deathcrawl's stall early on- the record is diverse but unifies perfectly.

‘Kill or Be Killed’ follows up well with a slow start being replaced by a ride driven groove. The whole track clips along at a head nodding pace- even some very black metal sections splice in seamlessly with varied vocal approaches holding the listener's attention.  ‘Dead is Dead’ brings in a southern-esque groove to start and the riff gives the vocal chance to breathe and again create a hooky verse structure- this is great stuff and builds well to double bass drums being used to good effect with clever progressions of the main motif in the riffing. There are time changes aplenty that lead to a chugging build up. In itself, this gives way to a fine groove based riff.  Deathcrawl have many hats and they wear each one with aplomb! There are three vocals that you can hear on the record- from their website it is confirmed that there is no front man as such as all three band members share vocal duties. This is a great move as it prevents the record from ever being one dimensional and allows each song or riff to get the appropriate flavour. Much like Bob Dylan's famous backing group ‘The Band’; Deathcrawl allow the best person to do the best job for each piece of music. This approach will really hold your attention when you listen to the record, that's for sure!

‘Blight’ stands out for me due to the catchy riffs which kick things off at a fair pace. Once again, the rhythms are unusual with plenty of percussive flourishes from BigMetal” Dave Johnson on drums. Sludge is again prevalent in this track and around the four minute mark a weird metallic effect backs a droning riff to play the track out to a very effective feedback drenched close. ‘Disturbing the Earth’ starts with slow doom after a ride count in from the previous track. Deathcrawl again keep the listener on their toes by introducing a rather effective (non sellout) and rather trad doom clean vocal! More traditional sludge follows with a nifty use of double tracked high and low vocals brought in for a nice production touch. The seven minutes plus of this track are punctuated by changeable riff patterns and grooves that mesh together very well with the vocal approaches taken- the cyclical song writing approach works superbly and again gives a unified hooky feel that allows the listener to immerse themselves in the record without feeling disorientated. The song finishes around the seven minute mark and is succeeded by odd soaring sound effects that continue for a further one and half minutes. It is great to know that the art of album writing is still alive and well- all these passages have their place. No need to use a shuffle function on this record (or ever, for that matter).

A drum intro combines with bass from Jason Luchka to set up the opening strains of ‘Maginot’ before this foundation is expanded by superb riffing from Damon Gregg. It is incredible that there are only three members of Deathcrawl- this really is a power trio to be reckoned with. The song writing here is choppy and pacey. The guitars work discordant magic over a solid rhythm section. Look out for the riff around the minute mark- it's a killer! ‘Despite Our Best Efforts’ gifts us a longer instrumental passage to start with and then switches to a snail’s pace for some horrific vocals in the blackened sludge vein. Thereafter, monolithic riffs trade space with imaginative vocals. Pick scratches are used to great effect through the middle sections here before the seemingly unwieldy title is used as a chant to finish the song off.

The superbly titled ‘Lucifer's Hammer’ uses feedback and effects (moog?) to introduce the record's magnum opus. The old half time/double time trick is given new life here as nice passages of riffing intertwine with vocal dexterity. The faster pace suits the band and album here as it gives a feeling of the record's end drawing near. Indeed, some of the best riffs on the album are to be found here. The final minute utilises feedback and effects again as the album ends how it began.

Overall, this superb record should enthuse the listener to listen to it again and again- its blackened sludge mixed with doom and black elements make it a varied and worthwhile listen. ‘Acclerated Rate of Decay’ has it all- great vocals, cool production tricks, riffs to rewind repeatedly and a nice sinister vibe throughout. Try it and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!

You can buy it here

FFO: Crowbar, Yob, Thou, Rwake




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