Review Summary: The storm gathers.
Many albums promise heaviness, but few actually deliver on that promise. You see, for music to be truly "heavy" in its fullest and most literal sense, it must make its listener feel the heaviness both physically and emotionally. It has to earn its listeners respect and have them buy-in to the music. This is the aspect that good post-metal has always brought into the mix and some bands like Isis and Cult of Luna have found success, while a whole host of others have spent their entire careers only to come close. Crib45's sophomore album Marching Through the Borderlines
is a resounding success in that regard and an absolute beast of an album, achieving the kind of passion and emotion bands can only dream of. What started as more melodic type of post-metal band (see their debut EP The Ghosts Among Me
) has now evolved into a colossal behemoth bent on hammering listeners into submission. While it took them almost five years to craft, the wait was undoubtedly worth it.
The post-metal sound itself on this record is done flawlessly by Crib45. The band spend the album making each song build upon the last, adding in new sounds and additions. The first two tracks hone in on crushing walls of sludgy guitars and pounding drums, focusing on delivering sheer force into the listener's ear. "Waiting For Deliverance" and the eponymous track take that impact and stretch it out onto a wider palette and focus on building atmosphere and tension, with the former song playing off of the kind of atmosphere and sludge metal sound Cult of Luna has made famous. The latter track even incorporates saxophone into the music too, which becomes a staple on many of the remaining tracks on the album. "Into the Abyss" ends with no instrumentation whatsoever and clears the air for Teemu and Maija to play off each other and exchange some of the most passionate harsh vocals post-metal has ever graced us with. Even the clean vocals here feel tortured and full of deep pain and suffering. The only flaw that will hold this record back is the uninviting length (75 mins) and how at a later point in the album, it feels as if Crib45 has encroached potentially outstaying its welcome, but this is hardly a black mark believe me.
I sit here taking this album in over and over and I honestly can't see where the band goes from here. The sound they go for on Marching Through the Borderlines
feels so fully realized and complete that it would be very hard to top. Everything from the vocals to the instrumentation and pacing is so on point and all aspects shine as highlights. It would be really hard to improve on any one aspect without potentially taking away from one of the others. But Crib45 are a resilient band and I have faith they will return, be it as a continuation of what they've created here or perhaps even in a new re-imagined form like what they transformed into here. Rest assured, Marching Through the Borderlines
cements Crib45 as one of the current leaders in post-metal without question. We've waited for the storm. The storm has arrived. Now, what lies after the gathering of the storms we can only sit and hope.