ALBUM REVIEW – THE CRAWLING ‘All of This For Nothing’

Posted on by Oran

Northern Ireland doom/death metal trio The Crawling return with their much-anticipated third album ‘All of This for Nothing’.

Doom fans rejoice! This is an atom-smasher, and the hard work that went into this record has come to fruition with a release that is a heavy hitter for 2023.

Precision is the order of the day when you first hit the ‘play’ button on the opening track ‘March of the Worms’, and it doesn’t disappoint. Opening with a military snare beat from drummer Gary Beattie, the first tune of the new record pumps the blood to the extremities, and gradually increases its intensity, until one minute into the song. Boooooom! Guitarist and vocalist Andy Clarke’s gruff and rugged lyrics spatter across the soundboard backed-up with bass lines from Stuart Rainey.

Another Vulture’ spices up the ferocity with brutally heavy breakdowns at the chorus that can easily do damage to the vertebrae (Disclaimer: Not recommended this early in the album – it gets heavier). This would be an excellent song to open or close a set with, as it has got everything; sombre melodies, rough guitar riffs and a tempo that is easy to get into. The song structure however, is excellently balanced, as it doesn’t favour one speed over another. The pace is consistent thanks to Beattie’s timekeeping, and follows Clarke’s lead with laser-focus.

Thy Nazarene’ continues this pace (the 2nd half of this song is just crazy heavy), and ‘Bound the Negative’ slows it down a tad, allowing a regroup and recovery to the listener. Clarke’s not just an excellent vocalist; he’s also a magnificent guitarist.

The quieter moments are atmospheric and poignant, as Rainey’s thick bass lines support his gliding outro. ‘Leaving the Skin’ pumps up the pace again with a quick and fiery intro that doesn’t hang about. Again, Clarke’s vocality is brought to the front of the class, as he chops and changes between clean and growl with enviable ease. Harmonious guitar backing tracks litter the penultimate track ‘A Light We Cannot See’, and at three minutes, the breakdown punishes anyone that hasn’t been moving their head to this song (you were warned; you need your vertebrae in working nick for this tune).

The final bomb goes off in the form of ‘Sparrow’, where the term ‘all guns blazing’ is an understatement. This herald of doom pounds the chest relentlessly as each band member has put their full weight into this recording. Beattie’s double pedals fuel this fire from the very start to the very end.

The Crawling maintains candour throughout this album to their tried-and-tested death metal roots that are found on their previous records ‘Anatomy of Loss’, and ‘Wolves and the Hideous White’. I have always seriously enjoyed The Crawling’s live shows (the last one I saw was on the support bill for Carcass in March and have caught them many times in Fibber Magee’s), and this release is another rock-solid addition to their arsenal. For fans of Nevermore, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, and Pallbearer, this album will be a welcome add to the fold. More please! 4/5

Track of Choice: Thy Nazarene

Catch The Crawling on tour via the dates listed below. Order your copy of the album via this link. Release date  August 4th.

Words: Shaun Martin 2023