Leviathan / Crawl – CRAWL/LVTHN [Split] (2018) REVIEW

Wrest’s long-running Leviathan project has had undeniable impact upon atmospheric and ‘depressive suicidal’ black metal movements over the last couple of decades alongside his genre defining work as Lurker of Chalice. His last decade of work has reached far beyond expectations while retaining his notable vocal style. ‘Scar Sighted’ was one of my favorite black metal releases of 2015 primarily because of it’s integration of frantic death metal. This split with Crawl features one twelve minute song from each artist and Leviathan’s side appears heavily influenced by Xasthur and Austere in terms of guitar work, though I hear more ‘The Funeral of Being’ than I do ‘Withering Illusions and Desolation’. So, if you jump into Leviathan’s side expecting the deathly, harrowing thrust of his more recent work you’ll be met with a modern atmospheric black metal treatment within “Igneous Ashen Tears”.

Crawl are decidedly newer in my mental database, also they’re not even on Metal-Archives for whatever reason, and I’d actually completely missed their 2017 album ‘This Sad Cadav’r’. If you can imagine the loudest sludge band on the planet making funeral doom then you’re close to imagining what Crawl represent. What I’ve enjoyed about his song “At the Forge of Hate” is it’s almost ritualistic build that more or less carries itself upon a huge wave of distorted bass guitar rumbling. The tone isn’t as monolithic as on ‘This Sad Cadav’r’ but it does feel more organic in the sense that Crawl‘s music resembles a live performance more than usual. The songs middle reprieve into stark naked drumming, animalistic vocal undertones and choral synth is probably my favorite moment on the split.

If you are at all interested in atmospheric extreme metal variants then set aside 24 minutes of your day to hear two undeniable masters of the craft. Wrest’s modernization of his original vision is memorable both for it’s harrowing performance and accessible drumming. Crawl’s thickly layered atmospheric extreme sludge sound has never been more focused and crusted with dungeon sores. A must listen for black metal and sludge extremists alike.


Artist Crawl / Leviathan
Type EP, Split
Released February 10, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Leviathan on FB | Crawl on FB
Atmospheric Black Metal, Black/Doom/Sludge Metal

Veiled mad spirits. 4.0/5.0

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