Review: CroworD – Crimson Gaze

Austrian melodic death metal outfit CroworD has been around for a while, they are celebrating their first decade of existence next year. The band, formed by bassist Lukas Rappitsch, is a quintet, next to Lukas consisting of Adrian Schattovits as vocalist, Dino Sulic and Julian Schattovits as guitarists and Johannes Eder on drums. As said earlier, their music is predominantly melodic death metal, but the guys have no fear towards straying from their core business and wander into other genres of metal music. Lyric-wise they are very widely oriented, grabbing every little piece of interesting literature that has to do with the never-ending human quest for fulfillment in de widest sense of the word to write about. Their sources of inspiration vary from Kafka to medieval tales and anything in between, giving them both an infinite pool of subjects and potentially highly interesting lyrical concepts. Despite all this, or perhaps due to this, the band hasn’t been overly productive in their almost-decade of existence. In fact, preceding the subject of this release, an EP called Crimson Gaze, they only have two entries in their discography. Another EP, their debut called Manifest of Mortal Sickness and a full-length called The Great Beyond. Their current release serves as some sort of a warming up for the band’s second full-length which is due next year. The four songs on Crimson Gaze span over 20 minutes and can be considered an indicative taste of what is yet to come.

Opener, title song and first single Crimson Gaze start in relative peace with a lingering rhythm lead by harsh vocals and underlined by a sweet bass line before opening up. Once fully unleashed the song consists of recurring pieces of melodic metal that vary in speed, enriched with a nice genre-defying solo. Add to that the alternation between the rougher pieces and the more soothing, acoustic sounding parts and this can surely be considered an interesting start of my journey into the unknown that CroworD was for me. It’s clear this is not your run of the mill raging death metal, the emphasis is emphatically on the carefully composed melodicism. Most of those aspects return in the next song, Isle of the Dead. In fact, the ingredients are basically the same, but the execution and their place in the composition vary, resulting in an interesting and different angle of view on the same concept with every single track. This in turn ensures a familiar, recognizable vibe and atmosphere in every song without repetition in any way. Death and the Maiden continues down the same path, but with closer Secession there’s a distinct difference as the speed goes up and with it the alternating, more relaxed pieces mostly disappear, although the closing tunes strongly contradict that.

All in all this is certainly a highly interesting piece of work that shows great promise for the upcoming new full-length album and sets the expectations equally high. Though called death metal, the roots certainly are there, the music CroworD serves us is very accessible and has plenty of hooks that will both attract and entertain a wide crowd of metal fans from almost every genre. For sure one you should try on for size. I’ll certainly check out their previous releases as well, as they have definitely piqued my interest.

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