Release DetailsLABEL Willowtip
RELEASED ON 4/20/2004
Red on Chrome
posted on 4/2004 By:
I first heard Crowpath quite a while back on a 5" released on Pillowscars Records. I was floored. My jaw dropped and all my teeth simply shattered and fell out of my mouth. I was almost certain they'd explode. As you can probably expect, I've been waiting a long time for this album.
Well, it's been worth the wait. Red On Chrome is by far, one of the most twisted and furious albums I've had the good fortune of hearing in quite a while. Combining the virtual non-stop barrage of Cryptopsy with the bizarre technicality of Mastodon, Crowpath takes this formula and injects it with some sort of high-grade amphetamine. This is the album that when I put it on in my car, everyone rushes to turn off and then complains about a headache for the next ten minutes. This is the album to terrorize anyone inexperienced in metal with. There's so much going on it's completely overwhelming, but most importantly, it's not pretentious in the least. Abstaining from needless noodling, Crowpath show that it's possible to actually organize chaos - but just barely.
Taking technical grind to a new level, they simply don't let up. It sounds like they're playing for their lives, punching their instruments to make this sort of noise. Able to provide a wide-array of horrible throaty yells and ear-piercing shrieks, vocalist Henrik Ivarsson sounds as if his throat should be constantly bleeding. The frantic climbs, maddening pull-offs, disharmonic slides, and jarring chords do nothing but reinforce the general neuroticism of the album. With some exceptional drumwork just barely holding together these short songs, there's a surprising amount of distinction. The drumming is definitely one of the more notable things about Red On Chrome in that how controlled it is, yet how unrestrained it sounds. There's a few chugging parts, but even those don't last for longer than a few seconds. Crowpath simply have no interest in giving their listeners any sort of relief, but seem to know it's necessary by making their title track a 2:34 long fucked-up slab of sludge. Proving they're just as effective at a quarter of the speed, it's something I'd definitely like to hear more of.
Produced by Fredrik Reinedahl (In Flames, Gadget, Burst), there's plenty of noisy hums and layered feedback to make things even more unnerving. With a few vocal filters and more noise, there's nothing unexpected, productionwise. Reinedahl's done a fine job of making such an immense wall of sound actually musically discernable, with the exception of the bass almost being completely lost in the mix. Crowpath does have a remarkable sound of their own, so it's really pleasing that, overall, the recording actually showcases it.
In a time when there's so many fucking technical grind bands, it's good to see one truly stand out. And whattya know, it's a Swedish band, too. With recent releases by Glass Casket, Ion Dissonance, and The End, I fear that Crowpath's Red On Chrome might get lost in the shuffle. But considering the current amount of outstanding releases by Willowtip, I'm fairly certain this isn't going to slip by unnoticed.
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