Craft – Void

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It’s anyone’s guess why it’s taken Craft six years to pen a follow-up to the subtly titled Fuck the Universe. Maybe the unexpected and uninvited embrace of black metal by bearded, coffee-guzzling liberal arts students spooked them. Or maybe they simply grew tired of writing some of the grimiest, riffiest, and downright metal-est Swedish black metal since Quorthon was entering eternal fire instead of hammering hearts. And don’t even give me the, “They lost their drummer!” excuse. Metal drummers spontaneously combust everyday. Haven’t they seen Spinal Tap? Anyway, Craft are back, and the biggest mystery now is how the over-intellectualizing of this genre will accept their blunt approach. I mean, I love Woe and Krallice as much as the next dude, but sometimes you just don’t feel like unraveling miles of twisted leads and polyrhythmic drumming, right?

On Void,Craft are at their filthy best. “Come Resonance of Doom,” with its pummeling repetition and explosions of swinging double bass, is enough to prove they’re just as pissed as ever. It’s nothing new. The production is as crisp as always, lending a strange sense of depth to the riffing on “Leaving the Corporal Shade”, especially considering the primitive nature of the dissonant strikes and constant tremolo. And of course there’s a lone guitar break, after which they come back even slower, hammering Mikael Nox’s howls home.

They sure don’t leave much room for the imagination. “I Want to Commit Murder” is about as blunt as you can get. Stray solos and punky drum breaks abound, as Nox shrieks the song’s title as more of a mantra than a chorus, imploring us to join him. We wouldn’t blame him if this particular intent were directed at a certain other Swedish black metal band. There’s no telling how this scene will deal with Craft’s return, after Watain climbed to the top of the Swedish black metal heap and even went so far as to claim a spot on Southern Lord’s roster. Were they just keeping the seat warm, or planning on settling in for the long haul? I’m not sure, but that mushroom cloud gracing the cover of Void could have Mr. Danielsson’s name scrawled in smoke.

— Greg Majewski

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HEAR CRAFT

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Craft – “I Want to Commit Murder”

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Craft – “Succumb to Sin”

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Southern Lord (CD)

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