Crowhurst are from the US, and are an extremely prolific band with lots of noise/experimental/etc. releases. Their self titled album from 2015 was especially of interest, as it was essentially a pure black metal album, and a very good one at that.
Fast forward a year, and they have now released II. This continues the black metal theme started by their previously mentioned album, only this time with a wider scope and with industrial/sludge aspects, as well as contributions from members of Ævangelist and Caïna.
II goes more down the post-black metal route, with the songs having a coldly expansive feeling to them. Crowhurst take the apocalyptic intensity of bands like Converge and Neurosis and smother it with some Blut Aus Nord/Axis of Perdition-styled industrial darkness, all layered with a black metal coating. Raw and depressive black metal themes can be heard in parts of the recording, as well as nods towards the avant-garde.
The songs on this release take the multitude of these influences and crushes them together, fusing them into something new that’s as hard as diamond. It’s atmospheric in a claustrophobic way, with rare breathing spaces popping up now and again like imperfections in the dark auras that are fostered.
The singer’s throat-shredding high-pitched screams make a welcome return, although on II they’re also added to by other vocalisations at various parts. Murky, pseudo-80s cleans make appearances on some tracks too, and I must confess that these are a particular favourite of mine.
II is an impressive listen. Crowhurst have expanded upon their initial promise and delivered a well-rounded release that offers different shades of black for each song on here.
Are you into challenging and interesting music? Of course you are, that’s why you’ll seek this out.