Videoclip of the Month!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Toscrew - Crawl (Review)

"They've wipped the drawing board and started with a fresh open mind"

It’s been a long while since I’ve last listened to a full doom metal release, but Toscrew, I think have refreshed the way I see the genre. I used to thing that all there was to doom metal was just some real thick and guitar work along with rougher than average clean vocals. However, I never knew that actual rhythm and depth could be introduced into the genre, which is something that Toscrew have done and have done quite well. For all those who have heard their debut album, Antiego, must know that the music on Crawl is extremely dissimilar, if not, nothing alike. They’ve definitely made a drastic change to their music and I guess would could say it was for the better.

To be honest, I believe that the more pure, and in you fucking face style of doom metal suits Toscrew more than the blackened death/doom mixture they had in Antiego. I felt that the main reason why Antiego didn’t release its full potential was simply because, the sound just didn’t suit them. The high pitch shrieks were incongruent with the guitar work, the drumming was quick however the overall pace of the music was quite slow and the structure was just really average. The only thing that they really did extremely well was the power behind the music itself. All I can say is that they’ve literally turned everything around with Crawl. There are no more; high pitch black metal shrieks, extremely fast and technical drumming, and I cannot forget to mention that the overall production of their EP is clearer, and stronger (i.e. the music stands out a lot better). Hot damn, I love it when bands improve from their previous material to something way better.

People tend to throw the word “catchy” around too often nowadays, “oh this is catchy” and “oh that is catchy”. This why I believe that the power of the world has been diluted (a bit like the word love: “I love pancakes” does not have the same implications as saying “I love *insert name here* ”) . Well, I rarely (if not ever) use this word, but I believe it is appropriate for Crawl. Some of the opening and mid-track riffs are so damn catchy, I could just re-play them over and over again. It’s the type of music that would go perfectly well with a bank robbery scene or footage of extreme sports like motocross. Thanks to the change in guitar tone, this is now possible. There would be no way in hell that the same effect could have been made using their old black metalish guitar tuning, it would have sounded silly and I would have started laughing at the music rather than head banging to it.

I don’t really know why, but I get a really relaxing feeling when I listen to Crawl. It’s not the type of music I would sleep to, but it would be something that I would most likely sit on a bus and listen to or something. The smoothness of the guitar tuning (along with clam and atmospheric guitar solos), and slow slack vocal style give this sense, which is something I didn’t feel from Antiego. It’s the type of music that I would imagine people who smoke weed or live the laid back surf/hippie lifestyle would listen to. Once again, another improvement in Crawl of Antiego. 

For odd reason, there seems to be more and more bands from the; African, Asian and European continents who are being “westernized”, i.e. attaining or incorporating American influences into not only the music, but the production of the albums/EP/demos themselves. Toscrew is one such band, first of all the lyrics are all in English, which means that we actually understand what the vocalist is saying and connect. Also, anyone who have heard Antiego would know that all the track titles are in Hungarian (perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that they’re from Hungary). However, all the track titles in Crawl are in english. This change in language preference may not seem very significant, but its implications are far more widespread than what some people may think. I noticed that many English speaking metal heads tend to have more respect for English speaking artists which hints that Toscrew is planning for a huge album or next release. This is why I believe that Toscrew may have leaned towards a more westernized sound to their music this time round.  

That being said, even though Toscrew have made some drastic changes to their music, some elements of their previous music which still lingers around in Crawl, two in specific; black metal and death metal. When you first listen to Crawl, initially you probably won’t notice either of these elements, but if you let yourself be immersed by the music, you should be able to detect  some slight hints of traces, particularly in the guitar riffs. Also there are a few moments where the vocalist lets out a black metal style scream (rather than a shriek). This adds an extra dimension to the music which was previously bland and boring (i.e. doom metal in general) and something that Toscrew have incorporated quite well in their music.

Overall, I strongly believe that Crawl is a major step forward for Toscrew. Mainly because it shows that they’ve been refining their sound, and what suits them best and this thick, in-your-face style of doom metal I think fits them. Unlike other doom metal bands who typically stick to one structure, one vocal style, one atmosphere, Toscrew have added layers and layers of dimension to their music to make it as interesting as possible and considering that this is the first doom metalish release that I didn’t fall asleep on is saying something. Also, this has to be one of the most perfectly and flawlessly produced EP I’ve heard, I could hear every beat and every sound wave. I know that Toscrew have really pulled out all the stops into giving us the most perfect taste of what we could possibly expect later in the year or early next year. As far as recommending tracks go, if you want something catchy I’d go with “No Chance”, if you want something a little more rough check out “Crawl” and if you like something with a little bit of jazziness to it, I’d go with “Answer Me”. I give Toscrew’s Crawl EP a 16/20.


*Sorry no preview tracks for this release, there should be one soon though!*

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