Review: Craft – White Noise and Black Metal

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As a first-time listener of Craft, I’d heard they were black metal from Sweden. Unsure of what their brand of black metal would be, I ventured cautiously into this album wondering what I was about to hear. Cosmic Sphere Falls starts with an arpeggio, interesting string bends and some solid, drawn out riffs. On a first impression, the songs are great, if not slightly predictable. The first riff goes for about 2 minutes, leading me to believe there are more stoner/doom or noise influences along with the black metal than I initially thought. Towards the end of the track it does get quite unnerving and there is a real sense of foreboding that up until this point, I was worried I wouldn’t get a glimpse of from this album.

Again starts off with a promising riff and then a pretty groovy mid-section, before going back to the trademark dissonant guitar leads. I again get the feeling this song would have had much more promise if the riffs had been a bit more adventurous, but the overall song structure isn’t bad and there are some cool breaks in guitars in this song.

Undone has again, more of the groove factor the last song had, starting off on a much stronger footing than I think the previous two songs did. The riffs and the leads seemed to be fighting for space and presence a lot less in this track, the composition a lot more natural feeling. This song was pretty much banger riff after banger riff.

The subtle reminder that you’re listening to a noise-influenced band comes when there’s a brief disruption as the song’s main riff deconstructs, as if the jack had been pulled out of the guitar, the static that follows leads back into the song and after some time to build energy back up the drums begin blasting in true black metal fashion and the guitars drone on for the duration of the song as it trails out into another blast beat section.

Darkness Falls is a much grimmer rendition of the previous tracks. This song falls much more into the black metal and almost stoner doom categories in some parts, with the occasional upbeat riff as in Undone but mostly sticking to Darkthrone-esque black metal. Crimson’s intro is quite intriguing but again, I think the constant theme and where this album seems to fall short for me is the relatively predictable and unimaginative progressions and note choices. Shadow has some cool parts including one which I could see at home in an American groove metal bands album, almost southern rock with a black metal tinge. I do like the bass work in this song however, seems to give it a bit more dynamic and the chord-work at the half way point of this song is quite cathartic and unsettling, with what sounds like the void itself lingering in the background as the bass continues to move under the dissonant leads. Towards the end of the song, they mix it up again with some interesting mute patterns in the guitars and tasteful leads overarching.

White Noise is a blackened force, with disgusting vocals layered over more solid riffs, this time a bit thrashier than previously heard. The best part of this song is the attention to details with the vocal layers as the song goes on, there are some really awesome parts with the vocals balanced so well.

The entire album clocks in at 42 minutes. After giving it a good few listens, I can’t help but think they could have been a bit more experimental with their chord choices and song progressions. This band are almost like a strange hybrid of Goatwhore and Gorguts with some Saricon influences thrown in, but unfortunately seems to fall a bit short of being comparable to the greats with this album in particular, though they deliver their unique sound without compromise and with great conviction. I had only small criticisms, which I imaging I would not have zoned into so much had I not been listening with the intent to review, and it is still a very good album, worth the listen and great for anybody into blackened thrash, dissonant leads and groove-laden black metal.

Order your copy of White Noise Black Metal out now via Season of Mist HERE!