Review: “Crimson Gauze” by Croword

Returning from the depths of despair after five years in the wilderness, Austrian Melodic Death Metallers Croword have chosen the left hand path less travelled upon their journey to redemption in Riff City. Their plan is to unveil EP “Crimson Gauze” that also comes packed with a full live in session album in “Live Is More Than Just Breathing” and then follow that up in 2022 with another full album, one which has already been recorded. Croword have been inspired by the Gothenburg Death Metal scene of the 1990’s, the same scene which inspired the 2003 first wave of Metalcore and Adrian Schattovits (Vocals), Dino Sulic (Guitar), Julian Schattovits (Guitar) Lukas Rappitsch (Bass) and Johannes Eder (Drums) have been lucky enough to persuade the legendary Jens Bogren of Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Sepultura, Arch Enemy) to master this EP, the songs themselves inspired by painters such as Egon Schiele and Arnold Böcklin, who dealt with the abysses and peaks of human nature about 100 years ago and is reflected in the cover artwork, designed by Irrwisch Artdesign (Mudhoney, Sólstafir, Dool).

There are without question immediate comparisons to Trivium that come with opening cut and first single “Crimson Gaze“, both bands clearly having the same roots and hunger to play a more complex form of Melodic Death Metal. In the case of Croword, they have put down a gauntlet for the EP with an opening cut that causes the carrying pack animal to go weak at the knees; such is the heavy load of complexities in the riff department, loaded with more jaw dropping twists and turns than a good thriller and some intriguing nuances. The vocals are unclean throughout, a perfect caustic abrasion from Schattovits that allows the rich leads to provide sweeping melodies that are executed to perfection. The band even manage to squeeze in some acoustic lead parts that give something of an ethnic quality to cuts like “Isle Of The Dead” and yes, there are even breakdowns. Those are thinly veiled for the most part with those rich leads over the top creating an all out authenticity, technical finesse, power and depth that others may struggle to reach. “Death And The Maiden” offers almost poetic lyrical flow with some brilliant soaring solos that would easily fit alongside those on “Unto The Locust” by Machine Head as Croword carry the torch of In Flames, At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity into a new era with diverse and complex compositions of furious energy and vibrant melody with a freedom that is mesmerising. The socially aware and critical “Secession (Where All The Reasons Are Lost)” has a well balanced spoken word and once again the acoustic finale shines and with each cut approaching the six minute mark, each one is well balanced and never over long. Given the right environment and opportunities Croword should thrive, they certainly have talent in abundance [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Crimson Gaze
  2. Isle Of The Dead
  3. Death And The Maiden
  4. Secession (Where All The Reasons Are Lost)

Crimson Gauze” by Croword is out 3rd September 2021 via NRT Records

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