Transcending Obscurity’s first foray into pure Swedish death metal is relative success with Crawl’s debut, Rituals.  Crawl’s members are relative unknowns but  veterans of the scene and there are branches from the extensive  Demonical family tree in drummer, Amir Batar and  there is Joachim Lyngfelt formerly of the underrated Decomposed.

Then output is a nasty, direct crusty, more d-beat delivery of a the tried and true Stockholm, mid range HM sound, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not going to compete with the likes of Bloodbath or Entrails or for 2018 releases, the likes of Gravestone, Binah, Carnation or Demonical, but its in the same quality wheel house as say Lik, Angerot, Boethiah and labelmates Descent.

Strains of the notable legends like early Entombed and Dismember litter the 9 song, to the point, feedback drenched, 25 minute release, especially Lyngfelt  whose vocals are a slightly deeper dead ringer for Matti Karki’s legendary bark.  Its largely goes for the throat with blistering sub 3 minutes bursts like “Breathing Violence”, “Black Ritual”, “Cowards” and “Suffer”, but when the band lock into a more restrained menacing lope such as start of  “Trail of Traitors”, the last third of “Sentenced to Rot” or  closer “Coven of Servants”, it’s pretty crushing and certainly will test the strength of your fillings, and certainly peaked my interest a lot more.

Rituals might have a hard time standing out among 2018s onslaught of releases in this genre, (with grand daddy of them all Bloodbath yet to release an album later this year also), but on its own merits, its a solid entry to the genre and another winning release from Transcending Obscurity, who continue to grow and improve into a power house label.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 23rd, 2018

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