(This is Wil Cifer’s review of the new album by the Swedish black metal band Craft, which was released on June 22nd by Season of Mist.)
Either bands change or they become stagnant. Going into this album I hoped the venom this Swedish band would unleash might make black metal hate again. It stands to reason, however, that after 20 years in existence the band’s fifth album might find them tiring of the punk-tinged aggression that drove the first four. I loved how Void (2011) was a big middle finger, and that is the soundtrack I think the world needs, but these guys have other ideas.
This is obvious right from the smoother guitar tone of the first song (“The Cosmic Sphere Falls”). Normally I would tell you how I have grown weary of blast beats and want black metal bands to not depend on them. Blast beats prove not to be the problem, as the band creates enough of a sonic sprawl that they don’t sound like they are just playing color-by-numbers with only marginally different shades of black, Instead we are getting a dark coat of gray dripping from these songs.