Interview: Crawl

Signed to the ever growing Transcending Obscurity Records the Swedish death metal band Crawl made a splash in the vast scene with their punk and crust influenced take on the genre. Here at The Metal Gamer their album “Rituals” even landed in the top 50 albums being released in 2018, and a top 3 debut. The band are embarking on a tour in just a couple of days but I managed to get a hold of founder Martin Sjögren just before said tour started!

Crawl is a new name in the metal scene. How did the band start off?

Hey! The banded started in Kalmar with me and Ämir. I had some riffs and we both wanted to start an old school death metal band. It started in Tormention’s (Ämirs other band at the time) rehearsal and we progressed and developed from there.

You made changes in the line-up two years ago when you became both a bass player and vocalist short. Was it a mutual agreement on the split or how did this come to happen?

No it was not a mutual agreement. We struggled at the time which direction we wanted to take ”Rituals”. It was just to many opinions and it did not work out as I and Ämir wanted to. That combined with personal problems made us finish the album by ourselves. No hard feelings to any of the past members from our side though!

One of the new members that joined Crawl was Joachim Lyngfelt but on vocals and not as a bass player. To me that a shock seeing his past in Decomposed. Did Joachim approach you wanting to be a vocalist or how did that switch take place?

Actually we contacted Joche and asked him if he wanted to join CRAWL and lay down some vocals on ”Rituals”. We did know Joche before we asked him, he released our ”Worship Death” on his label Bloodsoaked Records so we know he was a cool and easy going dude! And later on Ragnar joined us on bass and is now the permanent bass player in CRAWL. We got only love for those dudes.

Your style of death metal has different elements to it, like punk. What bands has fueled you as influences to create this style?

We do love the classics with Dismember, Entombed, Vomitory but is also into the more hardcore/punk/crust stuff. Right now it’s a lot of Black Flag in my stereo!

Rituals got a lot of stellar reviews. Has this increased your own expectations on the future follow-up album?

Of course we want to do a even better album than ”Rituals”. And we got some new songs brewing that are shorter, longer, heavier, filthier. The riffs are in focus as usual and no fucking bullshit here, haha!

You’re going on a Sweden tour in May. Is this your first Crawl tour?

It’s the first tour that we headline yes! We’re really excited for this!

Is there any club or town you have on your wishlist to play live in the future?

Honestly, I don’t know, just glad that people show up on our shows and supports us! That means a lot and makes us keep going!

You guys released one of the best debut albums last year in my opinion. Is the writing process at full speed for the sophomore release?

Yes it is, think we got like 5-6 tracks that are half way done! We take our time, we are a bit slow but I am sure these song gonna slay!

When can we expect more info on the new album, maybe even a release date?

After the summer we’re hopefully heading into the studio. Which one we don’t know yet, I got some ideas for our second album but nothing decided yet. So to answer your question, yes you can expect some more info about the album, just not yet, haha!

Final question! Does anyone in Crawl play games? If so what’s your favorites and what are you playing right now?

I played the Resident Evil series, that’s about it. The other guys I don’t know!

Thanks for the interview! Any parting words?

Thank you for your time and support! Uh!

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Crawl – Rituals (Death Metal)

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Even though the band is Swedish and plays death metal, which should be something I’d have my eye on, I’d never heard of Crawl before Transcending Obscurity Records announced them on their label. What makes it a bit weird is the fact that Crawl got members that’s been in Decomposed and Demonical, two bands I’ve followed and reviewed in the past. To be fair though they only had a demo and an EP under their belt before as the band was created in 2014. Rituals also being the bands debut full-length, so hey I have at least that to lean back on for my lack of knowledge on this band. Obviously I had to dig through their old material to get an idea what the band is all about. I: Serpents the demo was full of crushing Swe-death worship where Entombed and Dismember (as they do with many) had a lot of influences on them but at the same time they had some crust and punk elements at times. The three track demo was actually really good where the song “Casket Ride” hit me extra hard, making me wonder how I missed these death metallers before. Their EP Worship Death went even further with that sound, making the crust, punk and hardcore elements even more known so with that in mind I was now keen to hear what Rituals had in store for me.

It doesn’t take many seconds to know that Crawl has upped their game even more on Rituals. The mixing is better, really dirty but does a good job highlighting the right elements at the right time. It’s a pure adrenaline rush from the get go with only one song going above three minutes mark, honing their sound from the previous album even more towards the death-fused punk area. It’s a really good mix at that which keeps Rituals fresh and not a mere copycat from the 90’s sound. To me this is a great match made in the sewers of Sweden, filled with filthy death stench and adding more agression from the crust/punk/hardcore scene. Simply dirty and most fitting for the underground. I mean what do you need from a good death metal album? Energy? Heck yeah Rituals got that in plenty. Crushing riffs? Check on that too! Nasty lyrics? Well just take the two first tracks “Reject the Cross” and “Breathing Violence” as an example to that. Will it make you want to mosh? The pure energy and agression from the album will make this a killer live I am sure of.

While I usually would complain that 25 minutes is running quite a bit short in a full-length album I find it just about the right length for Crawl’s most crushing debut. Any more and it might have been too much of this rotten hard hitting, in your face death metal. One can only take so much in before being overwhelmed. In conclusion this is one of the best death metal albums of the year. It’s taking some of the best parts of Entombed and Dismember while putting their own touches to it, making Rituals an album that will last for a long time. They’ve evolved a lot from their 2015 demo and I am pleased to hear Swe-death can still evolve into new breeds. All nine tracks are putrid, heavy, about to knock you out metal with highlights like “Sentenced to Rot” and “Reject the Cross”. If you’re looking for Swe-death worship with that added extra brutality which will get you up on Monday mornings or get you pumped up for the weekend slaughters then Rituals is a must get for you. You’ve been sentenced to rot!

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
For fans of: Dismember and Entombed
Release date: August 20th, 2018
Favorite song: Sentenced to Rot
Score: 4/5