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Craving: At Dawn

The album cover for this one is so dark and so brutal that I expected the music here to be only rough, aggressive, and dark. Take a look: the picture has an apocalyptic quality, mostly represented by the sheer volume of flames covering the bottom half. Above the fire, the sky burns red in response, clouds of smoke and debris covering the sun. In the center of the picture, a thick-limbed tree offers plenty of branches for the four human bodies hanging by their neck, dead, awaiting the awful pecking of the nearby perching crows. In the background, other birds—vultures, perhaps—circle the ruined forests, seeking their next meal. It's a stark and unforgettable picture.

I already mentioned that I expected something pretty dark here. And it is—mostly. Craving, you see, is not an ordinary black metal band. Instead, they blend black metal with elements of melodic death and folk music. They also sing in three languages—English, German, and Russian. The result is an interesting and often effective blend of styles, sounds, and ideas. Unlike folk metal bands, Craving centers their music within black metal but reach beyond it to allow for other possibilities. During my first run through this album, the blend of sounds was occasionally surprising, even jarring. I found myself wanting a little less shifts in tone, melody, and style. During my second listen, though, I began to feel more aware of what the blend of styles allows this band to do. No, I don't love it, but I can honestly appreciate the skill these guys bring to their music.

Fans of extreme metal, especially those who avoid folk metal bands, may like this album because of Craving's tendency to root things in their black metal roots. This is a heavy band first and foremost, but they are also one that is completely unafraid to discover what else they can do. For listeners interested in black metal with surprising amounts of melody and folk-influenced components, this is a good place to start.

Track Listing:
1. Mek
2. Sons of the Rebellion
3. Targaryen Wrath
4. In die Nacht hinein
5. Schware Fluegel
6. Olga
7. Breath after Breath
8. Garden of Bones
9. Dance with the Wind
10. Hellraiser

Added: March 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1790
Language: english

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