The Crawling

Metaldays - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The Crawling, a relatively new death/doom act from Ireland, is one of those acts that neither of us had ever heard about. However, they reached out and said; “come join us, it’ll be fun”.
So we joined them, and spoiler alert, it was fun.

“Good afternoon Metaldays! We are The Crawling from Northern fucking Ireland! Are you ready? Are you fucking ready?!”
- Andy Clarke (vocals/guitar)

So, the Northern Ireland trio was not only a new band for us, but they were our first band of Metaldays 2017. Playing the second stage, or the Boško Bursać stage as it is called now, these black clad gentlemen walked on stage in cloudy but dry weather. Fitting in a way, and definitely better than the floods of rain that had fallen earlier in the day.
If I say a handful of people had shown up for the gig, I might be overdoing it a bit. Nevertheless, the musicians didn’t seem dismayed by the low attendance, and went almost straight to it. The Crawling plays a heavy slab of death metal, with a good slice of doom thrown into the concrete blender for good measure. They have just the right amount of melody in there to keep it interesting, but I hesitate to call this melodic death, as that would give the wrong association. Think Hypocrisy played slowly, and you have an inkling of an idea. That’s not to say that I’m comparing any of the latter’s songs with those of The Crawling, but the overall feeling is close enough. Knowing how we here at Metalmoments feel about Hypocrisy, you should take this as the biggest of recommendations!

The performance was low-key, with Andy Clarke pulling much of the weight by himself. Drummer Gary Beattie didn’t make much of a fuzz, except for those powerful drums he delivered, whereas Clarke moved about, headbanged, posed, and had a good connection going with the crowd, at several times pointing directly to certain people whom I guess he felt looked like they were getting into it. Bassist Stuart Rainey certainly looked imposing, with his large stature and grim facial expression, but he did little more than just stand behind his mic and play, only steeping out a little for the very last song. A bit more action wouldn’t have been out of place.
Clarke spoke a little between songs, but mostly The Crawling used sound clips to fill out the voids – there were fittingly depressing sounds, like a heart rate monitor or a fly buzzing about lazily. Even though they came on more or less between every song, I wouldn’t say they overused it – the clips weren’t too long, just enough to fill the space for the band to get ready for the next song, and the choices of sounds made for a good atmosphere enhancer.

“Metaldays, thank you for having us, we really appreciate it. We want you to bang your heads for this one!”
- Clarke (vocals/guitar)

As I mentioned, the pressure of the crowd wasn’t exactly overwhelming at the beginning of the gig. Little by little, the crowd did grow however, and even though we never got to see a huge gathering, there was a fair amount of people towards the end. It was still comparatively early, and things had been a bit down so far in the day, but The Crawling managed to get people nodding along, and delivering some well-deserved rounds of applause and appreciative shouts between songs. Knowing the band’s material better would probably have helped the situation a bit, but they only just released their debut album, Anatomy Of Loss, back in April this year, so they’ll need some time before it sinks in to the general populace I suspect.
The set was a bit short though, only five songs if I’m not mistaken, and given that they’re as new as they are, it wouldn’t have hurt the show if they had introduced the material a bit more. Oh well, they had a stage curfew to fight of course, and I’m not at all unhappy about what was delivered, none of that should go. In short, I want to see and hear more from these guys.

Thinking about it, I don’t really know that many bands from the Emerald Isle, but I can now confess that they are both great. So do yourself a favour, and check out The Crawling. That is all.


An Immaculate Deception
Poison Orange
Acid On My Skin
All Our Failings
The Right To Crawl

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