Craft - Fuck the Universe - 2005 - Carnal Records / Southern Lord
1. Earth A Raging Blaze 2. Thorns In The Planet's Side 3. Fuck The Universe 4. Assassin 333 5. Demonspeed 6. Terni Exustć: Queen Reaper 7. Xenophobia 8. The Suffering of Others 9. Destroy All 10. According To Him 11. Principium Anguis
I have read some negative commentary on Craft stating that the band is not ‘true black metal’, and I will not disagree with that statement. However, none of the bands that play this mid-paced, groove-heavy subgenre of black metal are ‘true’. I do not believe that they try to be. Craft, while certainly in philosophical alignment with the darkest depths of the black metal abyss, they communicate their message of misanthropy and Satanic worship through channels other than relentless lo-fi monotony, which is much appreciated. I tell you now, this new Craft album, though dubiously titled ‘Fuck the Universe’, is as good a recording as they have done, and better than most any other band who play a similar style.
The swaggering bravado (communicated through their photo shoots and choice of album title) that this record implies unsettled me before its release and made me wary of a potential sell-out bomb, but Craft have done nothing of the sort. I hesitate to say that this is the album Craft was always meant to make, for I would not like to slight the very meritorious ‘Terror Propaganda’, but everything just seems to fall into place here. Though some individual songs are not as stand-out as those on ‘Terror Propaganda’, ‘Fuck the Universe’ conveys more coherence, and is a more organized recording.
The most important factor in Craft’s success is not just their atypical approach to their music. Rather, it is their acute sense of timing. Timing with a tremolo hammer-on-off combo, timing with a bend, timing with a guitar solo, even. The solo I refer to appears in the song ‘According To Him’, and was rather surprising, despite my prior knowledge of Craft and their atypical ways, but it slipped into the recording so seamlessly that I could not imagine the song without it. Listening to other tracks such as ‘Destroy All’, I am wondering if Craft’s members grew up on as much Boris and The Melvins as they did Darkthrone and Thorns.
Craft seems to be playing in a perpetually flat key, giving their songs an agitated feel. This, combined with their no-frills approach to the album (blasting right out the gate, the first track almost sounds as if the band started playing before the recording began) make for a refreshing and enjoyable record. Some might complain that this record is not as gritty or nefarious as previous releases, but black metal has never been a genre too accepting of progression within an individual band’s career. With ‘Fuck the Universe’, a name I still don’t like but have come to accept, Craft prove that, yes, black metal can be both fun and misanthropic, and they defy you to prove them otherwise.
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