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Crust: Stoic

Extreme music sometimes uses commonplace words a little differently. For example, this band is not likely named after bread’s browner and slightly harder edge. Instead, crust has something to do with how this kind of music is supposed to sound. Capturing that sound with words is difficult, but you can get a good sense of it by listening to this album. It has the expected range of the slower tempos, the generally dirty or sludge sound, and the dark and pessimistic lyrics. Sure, there’s more to crust (and Crust) than just these things, so I suggest just sitting back and letting it all soak in. As I write this, I have the closing track “Desert” playing and it’s one of those tracks I tend to lose myself in. Metal like this has a meditative quality, one that I tend to find relaxing.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back and introduce you to Crust, the band. The band recorded this album with Vlad Tatarsky on guitars, Artur Filenko on bass, voice and acoustic guitar, and Igor Prokofiev on drums. They have since replaced Prokofiev with Roman Romanov. The band has been releasing music at an enviable pace since 2015. Although I have been mainly focusing on the crust aspects of the band’s music, they are less interested in questions of genre than they are just playing music that draws on elements of doom metal, black metal, post metal, and sludge. If you listen to tracks like the aforementioned “Desert” or the excellent “Anhedonia,” you’ll get the idea of what Crust is up to pretty quickly.

As the album title suggests, this album has to do with finding your own way, especially during times of stress and turmoil. But the album is less about simply gritting one’s teeth and more about noticing what individuals can really do despite all their pain and suffering and tragedy. For me, these thematic qualities really came through in “Anhedonia,” a bleak meditation on the emptiness of a life built solely on consumption. This is a familiar theme, but one that tends not to get old, especially as more and more people realize that pleasure can be fleeting in unexpected ways. The lyrics, performed effectively by Filenko, come across as an anguished rasp, an angry cry for pleasure in a world where appetites are so easily sated. It’s one of the most convincing tracks on the album.

I was also fond of “Watching Emptiness,” a track that focuses on the ways things quickly turn to ruin and decay; lines like “Mountains become flat with time” or “Stars lose their light and fall forever into light” were especially interesting to me. This track has several moods and I found myself having a slightly different response to it with every listen. It captures the best of the band’s overall sludge and crust sound while also opening up to just a little experimentation. If you like this track, be sure to check out the all-instrumental “Desert,” one of the best tracks on the album. The vocals on this album are terrific, but this band definitely could do some post-metal / sludge instrumental work and be just fine.

This album is a great soundtrack for a late night.

Track Listing:
1. Stoic
2. Watching Emptiness
3. A Blind Man in Darkness
4. Willow Forest
5. Plague
6. Darkness Becomes Us
7. Anhedonia
8. Desert

Added: March 29th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 120
Language: english

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