Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Craft - "Void" (2011) [Southern Lord Recordings]

Swedish xenophobes Craft were silent for six long years. If you were skeptical as to whether the band could maintain their intense and vehemently misanthropic brand of black metal, it should be very apparent after one listen to their magnum opus, Void, that Craft still destroys and have laid waste to any doubyers. Not only does this album exude the vilest sense of evil, it also shows the band moving in a slightly more technical and progressive writing direction. The presented songs are more varied and Void as a whole displays a greater range of atmosphere and cohesion. Though still incredible in its own right, Craft's previous offering Fuck the Universe seemed a big scatterbrained at times, whereas Void displays a more mature band who has realized their unique sound.

Love them or hate them, Craft have proven that a band can deviate from the "rules" of the genre and still be considered a black metal band. Void is filled to the brim with an undeniable atmosphere of unfathomable hatred. Within black metal, so many bands try so hard to sound "dark" or "evil" that they end up coming across as obviously disingenuous or laughably over-the-top. These things just seem to come naturally to Craft. With that said, this is black metal that fucking rocks; it's hard not to headbang or at least tap your foot to the music. Listening to Craft has always made me wonder how a band can rock so hard yet still be so ungodly in their brutality and abrasiveness.

The production is huge and incredibly heavy, especially when things slow down to that signature "Craft groove." While other bands try to cling to the sound forged by those before them or even make black metal "pretty" and "reflective" music, Craft is making things as ugly as possible and seemingly couldn't care less about the state of modern black metal. This is gritty, dirty, and not for the faint of heart. The track "I Want To Commit Murder" is so god damn hateful that it isn't hard to imagine that this is exactly what goes through your mind just before you come to the realization that you want to take another human being's life.



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