CRUST - Stoic

Crust - Stoic

8 songs
46:52 minutes
***** ***


The band name might imply a crustcore band, but this three-piece from Veliky Novgorod, a middle-sized town lying on the highway between Saint Petersburg and Moscow, has rather chosen a blackened sludge metal sound as their raison díÍtre. Founded only back in 2014, Stoic is already their third longplayer, standing next to a row of five EPs, two singles and one live album.

Stoicism is also the leitmotif of their new album, meaning that this is the only reasonable attitude to face this current world of fears and false values. The band has accumulated eight new songs that prove that the sludge metal genre can actually be more diverse than you would have expected. Take for instance the opener and title track which starts like a brutal old school death thrash piece before all of a sudden the rhythm goes to half the speed, adding tons of groove for a killer sludge verse that draws parallels to Type O Negativeís first album, before it all speeds up again. At not even five minutes, this is the bandís shortest regular track. The following Watching Emptiness is at ten minutes the longest song, with funeral doom and post metal elements making this a wonderful exercise in melancholy. Lots of effects during the slow parts help give the song a haunting atmosphere. Only the last two minutes lose themselves in something like a moody outro, yet not adding much to the song itself. A Blind Man In Darkness once again combines death thrash moments with powerful sludge doom parts, and while itís here where Crust excel, itís also their fine sense for variety which makes Stoic a highly entertaining album. The first half ends with the one minute short Willow Forest, a sweet melody played on acoustic guitar.

The second half begins with Plague, a highly atmospheric sludge doom metal song which at times reminds me of early My Dying Bride minus the violin. Darkness Becomes Us and Anhedonia follow in those footsteps, and while on the surface it may seem as if Crust are following always a similar modus operandi, it is not as simple as that. You never know when they insert a break that steers the song into a whole different direction. The album ends with the psychedelically flavoured instrumental Desert, and before you know it, Stoic has come to an end after three quarters of an hour.

If you like your sludge metal augmented by doom, black, death, thrash and post metal elements, you will be delighted by Crust and their third album Stoic. Itís been produced impeccably, and has all it takes to arouse the interest of every self-inspecting fan of extreme slomo metal with the occasional outburst of speed.

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