Craft - Void
Carnal Records
Black Metal
9 songs (49:03)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Goat

Being a Darkthrone clone in 2011 doesn’t get you the eye-rolling dismissal that it would have done a decade before, now that the Norwegian duo themselves have been far from pure black metal for a long time now. A space has thus opened for the likes of Swedish nihilists Craft to seize with abandon, and so they have if fourth full-length Void is anything to go by. Building upon the momentum of 2005’s Fuck The Universe, a good album simply begging for a follow-up that advanced on its strengths, Craft have made an album of traditional black metal that nonetheless is forward-looking enough in several areas to make it an exciting, enjoyable listen. Take first track proper Serpent Soul as an example, opening with lovely black n’roll stomping before a breakdown leads to atmospheric grinding, before ending with almost doom thuds and atmospheric launch into blackened space – the void itself, that classic Transilvanian Hunger-esque riffing renewing itself in your ears. The scraping, Celtic Frost-esque booming of Come Resonance Of Doom soon turns almost melodic as you listen, a perfect storm of headbanging riffage that constantly shifts through traditional black metal territory without letting the intensity or atmosphere drop.

In his review of Fuck The Universe at this site, Aaron criticised the band for wanting to both have their cake and eat it, to be both rocking and atmospheric. It’s hard to agree with him here, especially as the band prove so adept at bringing both together. Take the misanthropic crunch of The Ground Surrenders as an example, base level riffing keeping your neck exercising even as twisted melodies and creepy vocal croaking dance atop it, a choral breakdown partway through an enhancement rather than a mistake. We may all have heard the likes of Succumb To Sin in our blackened listening, but it’s still a thrill to hear this kind of old-school mid-paced savagery done so well. The sprawling atmosphere of Leaving The Corporal Shade goes up against the vicious blackthrash of I Want To Commit Murder, which itself twists and turns snakily rather than merely blasting your head to dust.

Elsewhere, Bring On The Clouds has far too many intelligent riff changes to be placed in a box as easily as you once would have with Craft, whilst eight-minute finale Void adds a wonderful epic feel to the filthmongering, infectious riffs crawling along the ground towards you with earth-caked claws outstretched. Backed by a plodding thud that holds you transfixed, it’s this last that really shows Craft’s skills off well – again, nothing that you won’t have heard before, but still a damn good example of this sort of black metal done well. The album finishes before you want it to, leaving you wanting more and quite convinced that Craft taking six years to release their next album would be a colossal shame after the fun had with Void.

Killing Songs :
Serpent Soul, Come Resonance Of Doom, The Ground Surrenders, Succumb To Sin, I Want To Commit Murder, Void
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Craft that we have reviewed:
Craft - Fuck the Universe reviewed by Aaron and quoted 53 / 100
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