This is pretty cool. Lately I seem to be stumbling upon nothing but generic stoner band after generic stoner band, so finding a band that’s fierce, really gloomy and has very little Master of Reailty-ish pentatonics to speak of is a wonderful thing indeed. Good things seem to be coming from the Liverpool scene lately, and this is no exception.
Crypt Lurker are kinda a slower version of Culted mixed with The Wounded Kings. Those who’ve heard The Puritan would also be familiar with this style, although Crypt Lurker are a few billion times more interesting. There’s these harsh, kinda yelled/shrieked/barked vocals- reluctant to say they’re black metal, but the influence is there. The main feature, the big attraction, though is this staunch, simple riffing throughout- it’s obviously doom but coming from a much nastier, much grimmer, much grimier place than your typical “Man Holy Mountain is awesome” crew. The way the riffs are constructed is in this really cool way that all the best extreme metal bands pull off, it’s rather chromatic, it’s dark as fuck, it’s not friendly, but it is melodic, it’s hummable, it’s headbangable. There’s this tendency to use dissonance as part of the tool kit, rather than for the sake of it. Parts like the ending of ‘Shadowclad, Pale’ suggest a little bit of Immolation and Incantation, even! Genuinely heavy shit, and it’s a wonderful thing to behold.
Certainly, a simple formula, a crushing formula done well. It’s not perfect though, there is a tendency to get stuck in a feel for ages. I can dig that these guys aren’t a tech death band and that they are going for maximum density; but regardless things plod. This works to their advantage in the absolute monster of a closing track, but more often than not I find myself wishing that stuff would get a bit of momentum, a bit of locomotion- seeing a big monolith is cool, seeing said monolith rolling down a hill, destroying shit- that is where it’s at. I have in mind Conan as an example here, very different music perhaps, but another band that’s extremely dense. Tempo wise, it’d be cool to have Crypt Lurker take notes, particularly the drummer- his simplistic beats aren’t terrible but nonetheless they are the weak point here.
Don’t get me wrong though, this shit may plod but it does so with a malevolence and heaviness not seen too often, and it’s a pretty rad thing to hear. Certainly a band that’s well worth checking out if you’re sick of a few million stoner bands, genuinely brutal shit that should appeal to almost everyone who likes proper doom and a good EP to check out if you’re a death metal fan too.
Scribed by: Caspian Yurisich