Monday, November 16, 2009
Skaven / Stormcrow - Skaven / Stormcrow
Skaven's latest and last release, containing the one unreleased track. It's not the band most aggressive or their best, but certainly is the bands heaviest with the downtuned doom metal guitars playing a major role. Stormcrow are members of the new school, having formed in 2003. But don't let that fool you; some of their members have done time in Destroy! Since Stormcrow are literally the only legit crust band to emerge from Oakland since Skaven's demise, it's plainly obvious that no other band could be more appropriate to take up the second half of this record. Likewise, they have but one song on their side, but they make sure it's a good one. "Final Plague" is probably their best outing yet.
Hearing both of these bands back-to-back really showed me just how much crust has changed in the time that's elapsed between them. Skaven appears to be of the train of thought where crust bands intend to strip down most of the excesses of '80s metal and keep what makes it good. And it still sounds like a punk band playing their version of metal, at least to me. Stormcrow often crosses those lines in a musical sense, and since a lot of newer bands have caught on to this "even less is more" approach and practice it to some degree themselves, where does that leave Stormcrow and more recent bands of their ilk? Or, what does that make them? That's more of an observation than an actual criticism because, metal or not, Stormcrow brings the brutality. An excellent record that tells a good story in the grooves, which will undoubtedly go down as a necessary piece of the Oakland punk puzzle.