Craft is a black metal band that formed in Sweden in the year 1994. If you don't know anything about the band then the first thing you should probably know is that they play a raw form of black metal. One thing you should know about this band is that they are extremely, for lack of a better word, evil. Now you might be thinking, "Well aren't all black metal bands "evil?" You might be correct in your assumption, but with Craft, you can hear the hatred coming right out of your speakers. You could assume that these guys hate life, the world, and all the people of the world and you would probably be right. With that being said, Craft isn't one of those suicidal, depressive black metal bands. Yeah the lyrics mostly deal with the destruction of mankind and the earth, which most people would consider depressing, but their musical style isn't the same as bands like Xasthur or Leviathan. Craft plays a style more in the vein of early second wave black metal bands such as Darkthrone or Gorgoroth. What I mean by that is you don't have a whole lot of variation throughout Total Soul Rape
. What you get is pure, evil, raw black metal coming at you for 40 straight minutes. There's no acoustic breaks or anything like that. Just straight up black metal.
Like I mentioned before, not a whole lot of variation throughout the album. For some people this may be a problem, but if you're used to classics such as Transilvanian Hunger or De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, then this won't bother you. You'll hear a whole lot of classic black metal guitar in this album and when I say that I mean a whole lot of tremolo picking. The guitarists aren't going to do anything technical that's going to blow your mind, but they do what they do pretty damn well. There's also going to be some catchy riffs from time to time. Not really all that melodic, but they will catch your ear and keep you interested in listening more. Now mind you, this is a straight up black metal album. If you're looking for acoustic, mellow breaks in your black metal then I suggest you steer clear from this album and go listen to some Bergtatt
, because you won't find that here. As for the drumming, blast beats, blast beats, and oh yeah...blast beats. Not to say they don't slow it down a bit too. They won't blast your face off the entire time, there will be a break from the blast beats every now and again, but that's basically the jist of what you'll hear. There's no Inferno or Flo to be found on this album. That's basically what you'll get. Again, not a whole lot of variation. The thing about this album is you have to accept it for what it is and not wish that it was something different. It's not an epic, progressive, melodic album and that's not what Craft intended it to be whatsoever.
Vocally you can probably guess what it's going to be. Ya know, the normal black metal vocals. High pitched shrieks that sound like they could come right from the mouth of Satan himself. One thing you'll notice about this vocalist though is that you can hear the pain in his voice. This guy sounds like he really hates the world and he definitely makes that clear on this album. If you need an example, take a listen to the scream at the beginning of the track Past, Present, Dead and you'll see what I mean. The guy doesn't have a really unique voice, but he definitely does more than enough to put on an entertaining performance. As you can probably guess with some of the song titles, Total Soul Rape
is really about three things...death, destruction, and of course Satan. It just wouldn't be black metal without lyrical themes like that right guys? Now I know it's pretty cliche, but hey whatever floats their boat right?
Overall, I would say this album is for people who have already tested the waters of the black metal genre. It's definitely not something you would want to dive into if you have no experience at all with black metal because if you did that, chances are you would hate this. This album is extremely raw and the production would certainly be a turn off to someone who has never heard anything within the black metal genre. However, if you're a seasoned black metal vet, then there's no harm in giving this album a listen or two, especially if you're a fan of the classics. Total Soul Rape
can't compete with those classics, but still it's an entertaining listen. The only thing you need to know is what I already told you, this album has very little variation and if you can accept that then there's no reason why you won't enjoy this.