Four things made me quite excited to hear this album, even before I really knew too much about it. The first is that it’s coming out on the always reliable Transcending Obscurity Records, (who have been especially on fire lately with top notch releases from bands such as Depravity, De Profundis, Sadistik Forest, and Down Among the Dead Men, to name but a few). The second is that it features ex-members of Demonical and Decomposed. The third is the album art, which I think is damn cool. And finally, the fourth, THIS IS SWEDISH DEATH METAL, BABY!
Ahem. Okay, so stepping back from all of that for a moment, what we have here is a mere 25 minutes of the good stuff – old-school filthy, ugly, Swedish death metal.
So you’ve heard it all before you say? Well, maybe, but one of the things that differentiates Crawl from the rest of the hordes is that they inject crusty hardcore elements into their dirty, underground music. This results in an album that definitely doesn’t outstay its welcome, with largely short songs powered by crusty death metal and full of rancid, rotten punk energy.
I like this a lot, and the fact that Crawl have thrown in these extra crust/hardcore influences into their style has helped to add a certain breath of stinking fresh air into a very well-worn style. Rituals sounds vibrantly rabid, ready to bite, gnash, and tear at anyone that gets close.
Make sure you listen to this one at full volume. Crawl are a damn good band, and Rituals is absolutely crushing.