I’ll let you in on a little secret when it comes to reviewing metal and hardcore. If Converge’s Kurt Ballou produced or recorded an album, chances are that the getting is going to be pretty good. Two songs into Crowhurst’s III (Prophecy Productions) I found myself wondering who manned the boards and – lo and behold – the aforementioned Ballou handled the affair at the now legendary GodCity Studios. Praise the maker.
If you’re familiar with other GodCity productions like Skeletonwitch’s Devouring Radiant Light (Prosthetic), Code Orange Kids’ Love is Love/Return to Dust, or Cult Leader’s A Patient Man (both Deathwish) then you’ll realize that Ballou is indeed the right man for the Crowhurst job. As with Cult Leader, Crowhurst merge oppressive Metal riffage, raw noise and let it stew in a vat of gloomy vocals and mesmerizing atmosphere. Crank ‘The Drift’ while you take a long drive to the beach and upon arrival simply observe the movement of the ocean and how it works in tangent with the hypnotizing guitar lines. It’s the type of music that may possibly get a positive write-up from Pitchfork.
But if chilling introspection isn’t really your scene then you may enjoy the deliberate ratcheting of tension and dread that is ‘La Faim.’ Every snare beat and discordant riff inches you closer to somewhere you dare not to enter, fortunately for us ‘La Faim’ finally pays off with one of rawest and gnarliest guitar solos in recent memory. ‘Ghost Tropic’ plays out like a Publicist UK Shoegaze jam early on only to reveal its true nature as a galloping Black Metal beast. Some cold Industrial soundscapes find their way into album closer, ‘Five Characters in Search of an Exit’ and are strangely enough a match with the sludge riffs before it.
Happy days are certainly ahead as long as GodCity keeps grinding them out.
9 / 10