Review Summary: If Bloodbath joined forces with Job for a Cowboy, Amon Amarth, Slayer and Dissection, this is what it would sound like.
Crocell – The God We Drowned
The world of music is filled with well over a million musicians, but the sad truth is that only about a quarter of those artists ever get their chance to shine. Then there are bands that are so unknown and underappreciated it could be considered a crime; one band that comes to mind is the Danish outfit Crocell. They produce a semi-creative brand of Death Metal, combining doom and black metal riffs with the speed of thrash metal. The vocals can sometimes resemble Akerfeldt’s when he was with Bloodbath, but he does do some strange things with his voice sometimes. Simply put, this band definitely has an interesting sound.
Magnus Jorgensen – Vocals
Tommy Christensen – Guitar
Ken Holst – Guitar
Onkel Kusse – Bass
Andreas Posselt – Drums
Right from the beginning of “Behind the Veil” the listener will realize that this band’s sound could be compared to sludge. The incredible amount of heaviness that Crocell creates with their guitars is enthralling. Yet they can play as fast as many thrash guitarists, you could even say their influences include some deathcore. While I know this is a hated genre, these guys definitely use breakdowns to their advantage, but without going overboard. Upon listening, you will also notice that the guitar sound is atmospheric at times, giving a hint at black metal influences such as Dissection. While this all sounds very confusing and all over the place, I can honestly place this band under Death Metal. The solos this band uses aren’t exactly the most inventive or impressive, but they get the job done and almost sound like a more melodic and composed form of Slayer (Which is obviously a good thing).
The vocals can only be described as a mutation between Bloodbath (mentioned previously), Job for a Cowboy and Amon Amarth. Jorgensen ranges from low growls, which he uses seventy-five percent of the time, and slightly high-pitched shrieks are thrown in there on rare occasions. While I could see some people becoming bored of the vocals, they still fit the general music very well. I wouldn’t go as far as saying his vocals are revolutionary, but he definitely has some talent, just listen to his range and capabilities on “Death Knell.” As far as the lyrics go, their pretty well-written, mainly focusing on demonology themes and the Duke of Hell.
The drums aren’t going to blow anyone away, but Posselt definitely knows how to keep a steady double bass beat going, and he keeps things pretty interesting throughout the album. Every once in awhile he’ll throw an interesting fill in, or do a good rhythm along with the bass guitar. In terms of speed, he will never measure up to anything of Cryptopsy standards, but he’s faster than a lot of other modern day drummers. Not much can really be said about the drum department here, since nothing groundbreaking is done.
The bassist, Kusse, actually surprised me here, especially on the fifth track “Death Knell.” He seamlessly performs a stellar bass solo/rhythm in the final breakdown of the song. While he is hard to hear most of the time, his skills are shown here and there through the length of the album. It’s too bad there wasn’t more interesting things done with the bass, as Crocell could have made a classic if they would have gave Kusse a bigger part in the final product. Any aspiring bassists should look into this guy, although it might be a bit hard, since information on this band is so hard to come by.
The overall sound of this album is definitely gloomy combined with the chaos of thrash and death metal. If you could just close your eyes and imagine Death Metal with a darker and melodic undertone, you’ll almost exactly realize what Crocell sound like. This all adds to the unique sound they create, almost a sped up version of black metal. While this is unique to me, I’m sure there are other bands that sound similar, but this doesn’t really take away from the creativity this band has. They don’t reach Opeth or Porcupine Tree standards, but they do make themselves sound unique within the genre of Death Metal.
Top Three Tracks:
1. “Death Knell” – This track has it all: a jazzy and rhythmic bass solo, an excellent display of range from the vocalist and an exciting bridge near the end of the song. While there is no guitar solo present, it isn’t needed, which proves that this band can do something different without sounding boring.
2. “The Culling” – This song includes one of the single most breathtaking melodic guitar solos I have ever heard. On top of the amazing solo, the song also includes a ridiculously headbangable main riff, as well as speed riffing as we enter the middle of the song.
3. “Behind the Veil” – This song features some of Posselt’s best fills and rhythms on the album, along with an excellent performance from Jorgensen, as he shows carry himself well. The solo at the end is also the second most memorable on the album, with its blistering speed and melody.
In conclusion, any death metal lover or black metal fan should check this one out. Even if you enjoy the heavy breakdowns from the Deathcore genre this is a solid way to spend your cash.
Final rating 4/5.