Originally released in 2005, the now defunct Stormcrow's Enslaved in Darkness is seeing the light of day (or dark of night) once again, recently having been reissued on Selfmadegod.
Stormcrow's style is rooted in crust punk and thrash and death metal – with Amebix' dark and heavy aesthetics being a major influence. Combining the attitude and sloppiness of crust punk with the more refined approach to aggressive music that is associated with heavy metal, the tracks on Enslaved in Darkness are much more varied than what one might be used to in crust-derived music in general. Rather than relying heavily on d-beats, Stormcrow make use of several elements from the metal universe, such as galloping guitars, heavy doomy passages, palm-muted riffing, double bass drums and generally varied drumming as well as a couple of guitar leads now and then. Occasionally, a some d-beating pops up accompanied by more hardcore punk-oriented riffage, and this complements the dominant metal framework quite well.
Thus, the general framework is closer to death-thrash (the vocals are growled, which is, of course, not unheard of in certain crust punk spheres [just check a band like Nuclear Death Terror]) and, thus, one could say that this release is essentially a crossover release which explores a darker territory than do the likes of S.O.D., .M.O.D., Wehrmacht and Agnostic Front.
The production is quite raw, and the massively distorted bass, whose sound quality is slightly akin to Danny Lilker's sound on Handle With Care, helps generate a dark and sloppy overall sound which definitely pays a lot of respect to the way that Amebix paved years ago. The performance itself might also be described as sloppy, but perhaps "organic" is a better term, as the release captures a lot of energy and attitude from the performance, and the "sloppiness" is actually an important factor here.
Dark, crusty, thrashy and deathy, this release should appeal to fans of Amebix-inspired crust punk as well as to fans of primitive death metal and raw death-thrash. And, if you like all three types of music, then do not hesitate to invest in Enslaved in darkness - you are likely to enjoy its 28 minutes of crust-death-thrash mayhem.
1. Enslaved In Darkness
2. Anguished Existence
3. Baleful Conception
4. Unwilling To Forgive
5. New Messiah