THE CRAWLING – In Light of Dark Days

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: GrindScene Records
Released: 2015
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The Crawling


Band line-up:

Andy Clarke – Guitar / Vocals
Stuart Rainey – Bass / Vocals
Gary Beattie – Drums


1. The Right to Crawl
2. End of the Rope
3. Catatonic


The Crawling formed late 2014 in Northern Ireland and “churn out a heavy, slow, death ensemble; forged against a backdrop of misery and contempt for the world that surrounds us.” The three members describe themselves as ‘ageing’ – no comment there – and this EP shows a “darker, more mature side to the band”. I’ll be honest, I thought this was a wee bit Spinal Tap at first glance, but will bear with it.

The CD is a fiver and the digital download is only three quid – if you’re a fan of death or black metal in general then I recommend you stop reading this, hit the link and get it straight away, as this is a bargain. I loved it.

This is comfortably beyond melancholic. It is a cracking cocktail of the desolate, cold and hateful. It’s also extremely intelligently put together, with suspenseful introductions, rhythmic and dynamic variance, extremely accomplished playing and a great use of texture.

‘The Right To Crawl’ opens with a slow, folky guitar riff that recapitulates throughout the track, with clever intermissions of dirgey chords and some great double pedalling.

‘End Of The Rope’ has another sensitive opening, but don’t think that this is any less lugubrious. Again it slides between bursts of aggression, slick playing and tension building.

‘Catatonic’ is narrowly my favourite of the three, just. The subtle bass and drum intro crescendos to some deliciously brutal metal, only to fade away along with your faith in humanity. Ok, maybe that’s going a bit far, but it is bloody good.

This is their first EP as a line-up after the single ‘Choking On Concrete’. I shall be purchasing both of these on payday next week, and I’m really looking forward to an album as and when it comes out.

Review by Bob Davidson