Crust's Dirge and Anthem
Album: …And A Dirge Becomes An Anthem
Label: Rumf Productions
Style: Doom, Sludge, Black
Release Date: 08/14/2020
Hailing from Russia, this crushing band brings their unique blend of Doom, Crust, and Blackened Metal to its ultimate expression here with their new record. Combing all of these elements—sometimes separately, sometimes at the same time—they take what is a group of well-worn subgenres and make them into something new. Or, if not new, they make it sound new, and fresh. There is no denying the passion and the pathos of these songs. Grouped together, they create a devastating avalanche of pure metal might.
“Approaching Grave” opens the album like a steamroller. The double bass drums rumble in, shaking the earth, as tremolo-picked riffs add lightning to the attack, before the onslaught begins. The song picks up blistering speed about a minute in, laying waste to the surrounding landscape, before slamming it down a notch into a brutal groove. It’s like they go from spraying you with machine gun fire to carving a hole in your skull using a garden spade. “When Winds Howl the Song of Death” follows, all ponderous, swaggering heft. Again, the Black Metal speeds make an appearance, picking up the pace here and there, but the basic groundwork lies in those staggering riffs and stomping drums. Third song, “Beneath the Cold Clay,” offers an acoustic respite, a chance to catch your breath, a few rays of sunshine in a dark tunnel. It’s plaintive and beautiful, giving the entire album more dynamic range. But never fear, fans of brutality, “Clad in Flesh” awaits, a hellish, horrific assault, with lots of gothic overtones. This one is crusty and clanky, while still being fairly fast and furious. “When Sleep Falls on Man” comes next, another stunning example of their mixture of Blackened hate and misanthropy. About halfway through they hit another one of their patented, pocket grooves, before blasting forth once more. This one is a real scorcher. “Graveland” dishes some epic metal onto your plate. From the echoey psychedelics at the beginning, into the Doom and Sludge, this is the most purely crusty song of the bunch, never really picking up much speed, simply willing to bludgeon you to death, a battering ram of power and strength. Album closer is “Space Sabbath” and honestly, that’s exactly what it sounds like, spaced out Black Sabbath. Cold and gloomy, it’s a derelict spaceship floating through space, filled with frozen corpses and carrying a death curse like an Egyptian tomb.
For a sophomore album Crust sure do bring the goods. No slump here, only growth and expanded musical horizons. This is a band on the move, upward and onward, getting better with each new release. This one hits the sweet spot, bringing enough darkness, enough Black Metal, enough Death and Sludge and Doom, to really keep everyone happy who loves heavy music. There’s something here for everyone, and this album never fails to delight. This is a band to get into, if you’re into anything at all.
The Wizard Has Spoken!