Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Craven Idol - Towards Eschaton (2013) | 93%

The sound of crumbling cathedrals

The new extreme metal powerhouse Dark Descent Records is rapidly becoming the best label in the underground and Craven Idol is perhaps my favourite release from the label. While I can appreciate some of their bands like Corpsessed and Adversarial, I'm not the biggest fan of this old school death metal revival trend, the scene basically has fun spreading the doctrine of Incantation without writing new rules. On the other hand, Craven Idol while firmly rooted in oldschoolism, mixes genres and styles to breach more boundaries.

Decorated by another gorgeous painting by the Italian mad genius Paolo Girardi. He's perhaps the best artist to grace the genre in years and 2013 is definitely a great year for him with the new albums of Cauchemar, Lycus and Inquisition, The cover art reflects the evil and fiery anti religious feel of the record. The cathedrals are crumbling, Death is awaiting. Don't miss your turn to join the apocalypse.

Their debut album is a exceptional slab of black/death/thrash crafted by the Armageddon. They probably achieved exactly what they wanted to with “Towards Eschaton”, it's pretty much perfect in every ways. I haven't heard their 2010 EP but I can only applaud such talent. The album starts with its best track, the six minutes “To Summon Mayrion”. Its atmospheric and rich ambiance are hellish and proves that their style can be done with class and melodies without turning into a modern, saccharine wankfest. This track pretty much embodies everything that is right about metal, it contains interesting slow and fast riffs, great intricate leads and harsh vocals full of venom. The riffs of Scourger (who played drums on the new Solstice EP) and  Immolator of Sadistik Wrath (I wonder if that's his real name) are insane. They're blistering, groovy and aggressive like their style deserves but there's a certain facet of their sound that made them stand out. A bit like Ares Kingdom's Incendiary is such an important record in my opinion. There's a mysticism to find and a cultured and pertinent background to such heartfelt and passionately heavy music. It's certainly as beautiful as the cover art, a different kind of beauty, one that you can't find in mainstream media, one you can find in mythology or the bloody lies the bible spawned. They transposed Melechesh's intelligence into an harsher, yet still pertinent setting. Their production is also top notch for their genre and mixed with their pristine song writing, it created a marvellous album.

Thick and rich like a slice of pumpernickel bread, Craven Idol isn't as shallow as as the devil's fart, no no no! Their songwriting is otherworldly and the temptation to press the replay button is as strong as when Eve ate the forbidden fruit. The mere thirty-three minutes explains this seduction and even if I feel they still had the time for one or two other tracks, it feels unnecessary, they said and delivered what they were supposed to in the most blasphemous fashion. Decidedly more varied and not as rooted in black and traditional metal as a band like Aura Noir, they're also more subtle and not as “FUN”. Tracks like “Aura of Undeath” are powerful hymns using background choirs to accentuate the effects. The band delivers the short, insane tracks like the epitome of might and magic that is “Orgies” 

Destroying Destroyer 666 at their own game, Craven Idol just managed to release the best extreme metal album of the year. If you're still listening to the new Carcass, you might be disconnected and your judgement might be blurred, just sayin'. I crave thy idol and you should too.

No comments: