Apr 10, 2013

Black Tar Prophet vs. Crawl Split ...

There’s hardly something better and more efficient than a fat split for getting to know two cool bands like, for example, Black Tar Prophet and Crawl, bearded guys who are good friends and like to make music together. Band’s names that say a lot … Try and pronounce those names slowly and by gurgling a bit and you’ll get the feeling of the dark and fu**in’ heavy that will be conveyed onto you by this nasty split. A few words about these bands are due. Black Tar Prophet are an instrumental duo from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is quite young as they started playing together during 2011. They got their debut album, the over 40-minute-long suite Note to Nod, in 2012. Then came the 2012 split with Crawl. A first change in the line-up turned the original setting of Mark Owen on guitar and Greg Swinehart on drums/booking (the one active in Note to Nod album) into the current line-up with Greg Swinehart on bass/booking and Erik Dever on drums and percussions. The latter is the duo involved in the split with Crawl.

Crawl is a trio of mostly bearded guys from Atlanta, Georgia, an even younger band that started in 2012 and released a demo before this split.Crawl guys are Eric Crowe on guitar and vocals, Brad Claborn on guitar and Bass and Tommy Butler on drums. Here you’ll likely recognize (ex-)members of a series of cool US heavy bands like Hog Mountin, Molehill, Sons of God, Fulci, and so on. So this bunch of metallers from Nashville and Atlanta decided to join forces and make up an overly heavy, toxic split drenched wth raw, hallucinatory and asphyxiating drony sludge-doom metal. Both bands took part to the split in a somehow different manner compared to their previous releases. Black Tar Prophet broadly adhere to their style outlined in Note to Nod album. They like to create a sick and noisy wall of sound by means of slow, fuzzy, hyper-distorted and heavily downtuned guitar vibrating like a bass, and drumming accompanied by loud cymbal percussions. There are vocals but they only come from radio and movies samples employed to create tension and a sense of alienation. Slow pace is dominating although the guys like to disrupt the rhythm by means of accelerations. The result is invariably some raw, dark and sick, hallucinatory sludge-doom and yet spiced up by some whiffs of swampy groove. You can find echoes or similarities with Sleep, Electric Wizard as well as War Iron, Slomatics (especially for the extremely downtuned guitar) or Horse Latitude, mixed up with Sourvein or so.

In this split Black Tar Prophet provide relatively “short” tracks, “Judgement Whore” and “Hypomania” (between 7 and + 8 minutes-long) with a common structure but slightly differing for tempo changes. However there is continuity between this split and Note to Nod with the advantage that the shorter size of the tracks makes music more accessible. On the Crawl’s side, you have to expect something a bit different from their 2012 Demo, which is graced by some quite enjoyable muscular, burning hot mixture of sabbathian doom, obscure drone-doom and southern sludge metal. Like a multi-headed monster, in this split Crawl is going to show another face and other skills, the latter likely influenced by one of the bands where Eric Crowe militates, the drone-doom metal band Fulci. Hence “Rise Feast”, the over 18-minutes long suite provided by Crawl, is a slow, viscous, painful vortex of plodding mind-numbing heaviness, a sequence of slow-paced monolithic riffs able to almost extinguish any physical and inner light, like hearing Horse Latitude jamming with SunnO))). If Crawl’s style in the demo had been depicted as “destructo-sludge” in some webzines, well, be aware that in this split Crawl is going to entertain you with their “destructo-drone”! So here we are with two rather new US bands bound to give us further satisfaction if they keep the promises of bleak and swampy heaviness declared in their first two releases, including this split. And I’m sure they will!

Keep the facebook pages of the bands checked out. For example, Crawl are working on new stuff which is sounding so yummi …
You can get hold of this powerful, pitch-black split between Black Tar Prophet and Crawl, either digital or as CD, as well as their cool previous releases, via the Bandcamp pages of the bands.

Words: Marilena Moroni

Black Tar Prophet | Bandcamp
Black Tar Prophet | Facebook
Black Tar Prophet | Myspace
Crawl | Facebook
Crawl | Bandcamp
Crawl | Myspace
Crawl | Soundboard

No comments:

Post a Comment