Craven Idol
Towards Eschaton

Here is one of those reviews I hate writing. The debut from the UK’s Craven Idol has gotten a lot of buzz in media metal circles. Playing a form of black/thrash death and replete with band member names like ‘Scourger’ and ‘Immolator of Sadistic Wrath’, this British trio were the apparent second coming of Destroyer 666. And while i can see the excitement for this band and release, personally it isn’t doing a whole lot for me.

Of course, you know what they say about opinions, and I’m sure I’m swimming against the current here, but I don’t hear anything truly special here. That may be due to my general disdain of black/thrash, but even with a slighter more menacing death  and black metal presence, Craven Idol is not blowing me away. I hear lots of tightly wound riffs and solid flailing, drumming, some raspy venomous vocals all with nods to the likes of Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Immortal and such, but it all seems completely superficial. None of it sticks.  For all their vim and vigor, studded belts, leather jackets and corpsepaint, there’s nothing here that’s truly feral, menacing or that invokes any feeling what so ever. And trust me I tried- being a Dark Descent release, and knowing the reception this album has garnered so far, I really gave this tons of time and listens to see if it clicked. But it never did.

As much as a tried to get into the likes of “Golgotha Wounds”, “Craven Atonement” or even more black metal numbers like “Codex of Seven Dooms” with its atmospherics, I simply got bored. It comes across as sort of like a bored Watain trying their hand at thrash metal using some old Watain riffs left over from The Wild Hunt and dirtying them up a bit. The tracks either screech by with directionless fury, some slight blackened melody or a by the numbers mid march militant march, and none of it gets my attention or commands replay. That all being said, while I don’t see these guys as the new kings of British metal, it’s a solid background listen that doesn’t require much effort or energy as it tries really hard. If forced, “Aura of Undeath” would be a standout with “Left to Die” and its  militant stance has some OK riffs, but again, nothing I’m going crazy over.

Much like the equally lauded and British act Grave Miasma, and their recent album, I am certain I am in the minority when it comes to not anointing either  and simply seeing them as merely solid releases rather than the ‘best…’ whatever in their respective genre.

Bah Humbug!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 18th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dan

    You’re not alone. The opening riff is cool but the record then becomes completely forgettable.


  2. Commented by: SRK

    Agreed, after listening a few times to the DDR bandcamp stream of this, it’s not grabbed me.

    The recent Nocturnal Graves full length does this sort of thing much better.


  3. Commented by: vugelnox

    Ya’ll have been huffing too much glue. This album kills. Every song has plenty of great riffs.

    The new Nocturnal Graves is also fantastic.


  4. Commented by: ikillednoe

    totally badass driving-around-and-not-giving-a-fuck music, with that Aussie 666 vibe in there. although, smoke weed with it, you will fall asleep


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