Review: “Radical Absolution” by Crawling Manifest

Our goal in writing music, in general, is to make our fans feel something. Make something they can connect with. This album, I think, did just that. You can listen to the album and feel the old-school influences we have, and you can also dig into the lyrics and hopefully connect with what we are saying. At the end of the day, the message that we are trying to get through with this album is that your voice can, and should be heard. All you have to do is make sure it is” ~ Crawling Manifest

After multiple line-up changes, live shows and tours, playing alongside bands like Soulfly, Soilwork and Kataklysm since 2014, the remaining members of Maryland’s Crawling Manifest in multi-instrumentalist Andrew Gladu (Vocals, Bass, Drums)  and Trevor Layton (Guitars) made the decision to write new music taking influence from the bands they grew up listening to and combining a love of Death and Thrash Metal into a powerful new sound. The aim hasn’t been to abandon their prior works in EP pairing  “Forevermore” (2016) and “Lords of War” (2019) or full-length “Battlegrounds” (2016), but to inject fresh life, new energy and to continue eternal forward motion…

Starting any album with a beautiful instrumental that boasts a vibrant extended solo is certainly a brave decision and as cuts go “Land of The Free“, is one that other bands may have used as a mid album interlude or simply tacked onto the end but what it does is serve to create atmosphere with something that sounds cool while showing off something impressive. Single “World War III” and its follow up “Nothing to Lose” then gives us something more traditionally Thrash, bringing them into line with the current wave of bands like Hazzerd, Thrasherwolf and Wreck-Defy that have more than a lethal dose of 80’s nostalgia to them. Both deliver the killer solo that puts the band firmly into the Megadeth bracket of styling with Gladu’s gruff bark giving everything a clenched fist approach, a neat tempo change in the later bringing the house down with a full throttle onslaught. The album is politically charged and there is a solid level of aggression in the vocals that means you can clearly hear that Gladu is fired up here, he’s not just spitting venom for the hell of it. The aforementioned “World War III” is a prime example being a f*** you to Billionaires who got there by exploiting the people who work their fingers to the bone to earn a crust from them, “Right To Refrain Silence” is a straight up fight song about the right to speak freely without being violated by the powers that be in response.

Blood Born” speaks of the growing prison population that suffer from a locked away, forgotten about and left to fester culture that breeds civil unrest. Anyone who has seen the Simon Reeve documentary on the subject will know that those people are simply put to work, blue collar factory labor being exploited for their sentence. The album isn’t without a few issues however; there are a few songs that could use being a verse and chorus shorter to maximize their impact and the drum sound has muddy moments that detract from the overall sound but neither of those things prevent the album from being a good listen; they just stop it from going that little bit further and the margins are as narrow as a cigarette paper. “Radical Absolution” has a surprise Nirvana inspired intro and some clean backing vocals that are a nice touch while the extended solo on “Revolution” brings the house down and when the dust settles, this is a statement of wrongs that the US Government should look to right [7/10]

Track listing

1. Land of The Free (2:27)
2. World War III (4:42)
3. Nothing To Lose (6:11)
4. Right To Refrain Silence (4:27)
5. Radical Absolution (6:49)
6. Blood Born (4:08)
7. Revolution (4:08)
8. Onslaught (5:00)

Radical Absolution” by Crawling Manifest is out 14th May 2021

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