Levantine Week Day 1: Crawling – The Temple Made By Your Blood

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Artist: Crawling

Album: The Temple Made By Your Blood

Label: Independent/unsigned (cassettes released via M.Y.R.F.I.P. productions)

Released: 9/15/2022

Country: Kadiköy, Türkiye

Written by: Aaron Michael Kobes

Black Metal has been transformed invariably over the decades since its birth, with some iterations being about as fantastical and genre defining as they are bending (Paysage d’Hiver, Ulver, Blut Aus Nord, etc.). Some can even be outright despicable, (see NSBM) no matter how much fascist apologists argue the “riff” or the so-called originalist point of the genre to be “abrasive”. Then there are the iterations of Black Metal that somehow remain true to what has been contemporized to be Black Metal, in the Second Wave sense of the meaning, in terms of sound, content, and approach. While these DIY acts may appear to be a dime a dozen on Bandcamp pages as a result of anyone with a guitar, a beat up eight-track/cassette recorder and a grudge against organized religion, not to mention a base knowledge of how to apply corpse paint can create a true “kvlt” experience, rare are the ones that can unironically embrace the staples of the genre, making it a religion unto itself while still sounding fresh enough to remain relevant in the current underground scene. Crawling has done just that and continues to do so, showing time and again and in a stellar lineup of releases, how this one-woman act from Kadiköy, Türkiye is the quintessential embodiemnt of the soul of Black Metal made unholy flesh.

Kicking off this demo is the track Graveyard Curse. In a reflection of the quavering flames depicted in the album art, a tremulous guitar opens the track giving off a near manic edge of instability. This is then joined with a slightly distorted percussive track that adds to the abrasiveness and volatility with a battering of a blast-beat rhythm. Rounding out this titering ensemble is the vocality which forces an eruption of chaos with its primal ferocity that thrums and rumbles alongside the blast beats to the point of being nigh indistinguishable. The effect of of such a brutalized outletting of a growl is that it seems an inhuman conjuration of something as blackened as it is damned turning it into the sepulchral- a constant threat of being taken under and buried in the refuse of crumbling refuse knocked loose making wherever it is you were unfortunate enough to blast this track your tomb, in the best sense of the term.

Murder, this is what i want in the rest of

My life…

Murder, murder, murder, my only desire

I cant stand none of you, fuck off

And die

Continuing the onslaught after a hair’s breadth of a pause, is the followup track, Murder. Grabbing you by the throat from the opening moment, this track only exists, to raise you up out of the rubble of Graveyard Curse. It is a bleak, hopeless track which is steeped in depraved desires and nothing else, making it absolutely brilliant. The wall of sound created and maintained throughout the entirety of the track is something to be admired in a full line-up band, and doubly so in a solo act, as there is no compromising of a particular track component to beef up another section, as is common in solo acts- an overindulgence on guitar effect work leads to lackluster drum grooves for example. What is more, is the production design, and song layout is as such to make the lyrical content utterly unrecognizable even for the most ardent genre addict who may pride themselves on such a skill. This pays off in the final second or two of Murder wherein Helin, the blackened soul of Crawling, lets loose a clear, and very distinguishable single syllable utterance that carries all the more weight in it being the only word to ring clear-”DIE”. Ultimately it is because of this aggressive track that I chose to cover this particular demo amongst the other releases of Crawling’s efforts (save the one already covered here) as I believe it to be the quintessential and unapologetic embodiment of Black Metal. Whereas a majority of Crawling’s releases to date have tended towards the Doom-ier and Depressive/Suicidal side of the genre; Murder, is a master class in the simplified, straight forward craft of Black Metal that is all to common lost in the fray of over-saturation of solo projects, mentioned in brief above. There is a seething authenticity that is only derived from an absolute devotion to not just the project itself but the genre on the whole, a living and breathing of the putrescence of all the rotten feelings and emotions one can experience in a life (the very echo of Mayhem’s Dead)-constructively turned outward as a predication of bonding through art/misery.

Slowing things down, insofar as it pertains to Black Metal, is Drinking Blood Handcuffed /Kanayacaksiniz (Kanayacaksiniz meaning You Will Bleed). With Drinking Blood there is a reprieve of sorts, meaning that you are being pummeled by an inexorably drawn out- Drinking being the longest track and making up nearly half the run time of the demo, assault of clashing cymbals, barreling and seemingly stoned blast-beats accompanied by trilling guitar works that peels off a roughed wall of a riff to open-end the track. This is more of a return to form on the part of Crawling, as it is more in line with the chronologically preceding demos in Crawling Chaos and Cult of Wind Scourge respectively. More interestingly is how this iteration, or revisit has developed from the preceding efforts- a more polished sound and a refined approach approach that is less reliant on the gristle of lo-fi recording tactics to give it that edge of extra coarse standard to the skin. Astoundingly enough, the learning curve for this re-approach was the simple span of a few months and a couple of interim releases, made all the more so in the fact that there was no compromise of artistic self in terms of recognition, there was simply a betterment in each subsequent release that has continued to this day (do yourself a favor and check out subsequent releases and the first full length, …Of Doom).

kan akitacaksiniz alayiniz

son damlasina kadar kanayacaksiniz

o cok sevdiginiz allahiniza kadar

Kanayacaksiniz

Finishing out the demo is the track Endless, a continuation of the Doomy resurgence. This track begins to show the wear and tear of the sheer primal fury released in Graveyard Curse and Murder, and feels downright despondent in its execution. This is not to say that Crawling is in want of energy, anything but, however, it seems like it is being drawn from reserves after the initial exhaustion. The impression given is that of a lonely and cornered feral animal that’s been run to ground, and where it’s quite potentially the most dangerous. Slow and languidness only in appearance, Crawling decidedly puts everything into the final moments of the demo, making the listener feel every cymbal crash and discordant howl until the finale of abrupt end/cut off, a fight to the last until a drop off from sheer exhaustion in the outpouring of raw and blackened emotion could not sustain the body any longer.

Be righteous by listening to and supporting Crawling on Bandcamp: https://crawling6.bandcamp.com/album/the-temple-made-by-your-blood




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