Thursday, March 30, 2017

review: Craven Idol

Craven Idol
The Shackles Of Mammon
Dark Descent Records
Release: 14 April 2017
Craven Idol is a quality band from the U.K. If you ask a reviewer what genre this is, you will hear different answers all around. They are black metal, according to some. They are throwback thrash, in the opinion of others. Some others consider the band black thrash. The reason is because Craven Idol writes music does not fit a particular genre strictly, not in the sense that people understand genres today. Craven Idol obviously respects the guitar traditions of classic Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate and the like, the sounds that are the very definition of heavy metal guitar itself, and they also carry their love of early Venom, Sodom and Bathory very close to their hearts. Listeners who recognize respect for tradition and the foundations of our music will immediately understand what's going on here with Craven Idol, despite the genre classification issues that some reviewers have encountered.
The music is filled with heart-pounding riffs and a plethora of solos, melodies, mini-solos and other guitar mastery. This is a band that wants guitarists that know how to guitar and that want to guitar in a real way. They have spent time learning the instrument and learning to compose songs, and it shows very clearly with an attentive listen. An outstanding important fact about the album is the good production for an extreme album. For instance, you can hear the bass guitar very well, and considering that metal bands are really incompetent at showing the bass playing in the music, that should tell you something about the band's dedication to their craft. They actually have thought about how to make the bass guitar something that you can hear. If that is not love for heavy metal and love for you, the listener, then I don't know what love is. The drums sound like real drums, but I don't know (maybe we can get an interview and investigate this issue). Finally, the vocals. Let's tell the truth. The vast majority of extreme metal vocals are not that good. Most vocalists are perfectly content with average growling that anyone with a belly can do. The best that you can say about most growlers is that they sound ok, if that. However, when it comes to classic extreme vocals done right, listeners have never had difficulty figuring out which band it is because the vocalists had their own personality: Motorhead, and the classic works of bands that through several albums created a legacy: Venom, Bathory, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Death, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Opeth, Dissection, Napalm Death, Darkthrone, so on and so forth. Craven Idol vocals are more than just growling. Sure, there's growling, but there are also howls, screams, maniacal vociferations and other individual traits that let you know that this is Craven Idol and that they seek to be in the company of the masters that preceded them.
The band struck me as really good at first, but I did not believe it. I thought that maybe they had some flashes of greatness, but I doubted that they could carry the quality for the complete album. You know it: some bands put their good songs in front and they hope that people will not figure out what's going on and will not really listen critically to the last half of the album. After spending time with the album, I can report with confidence that, in my opinion, the band makes a serious effort to keep up the quality for the entire work. I do not doubt anymore.
review by MMB
OFFICIAL: London’s premium metal force Craven Idol unleash their second album of ruthless first wave blackened thrash in the vein of early Bathory, Gospel Of The Horns, Manilla Road, and Inquisiton. After four years of toil, the U.K. four-piece present: The Shackles Of Mammon, an uncompromising and unique blend of tag-less extreme metal from the early days of horrible hellnoise. Inspirations are many; Be it heavy metal Gods such as Mercyful Fate, Candlemass, Sortilege or Manilla Road; Early pioneers like Poison (Ger), Samael, Razor, Bathory, Venom; Pretenders to the throne like Gospel Of The Horns, D666, Inquisiton… But don’t be fooled – this is no tribute act. Recorded at Birmingham’s Priority Studios and engineered by Esoteric’s Greg Chandler (and mastered by Dan Lowndes at Resonance Sound), The Shackles Of Mammon boasts an old school production as well as Craven Idol’s most fierce and varied songs to date.
The album boasts artwork by the extraordinarily twisted Daniel Corcuera. The artist’s powerful take on Sascha Schneider’s 1896 wood carving ‘Mammon und sein Sklave’ is a striking work of art. Lyrically the album deals with the vices of man, the plagues they unleashed upon themselves, and the rationalisation of its own actions – be it in tragedy or ruin – through the creation of deities and cults. Mammon the - Demon of Avarice - reigns above all, whilst the black arts and countless religions seek to justify human failure.
CRAVEN IDOL live dates:
April 8th - London @ Black Heart
April 15th - Glasgow @ North Of The Wall Fest
May 15th - London @ Underworld w/ Nifelheim

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