Soundcrawler is a French “stoner” rock outfit. Unlike many of the French bands I’ve been given to review in the past few months, Soundcrawler have a much more heavier sound. Like all bands who call themselves “stoner” rock/metal, there is a predominantly slow pace to their songs, but there’s a little more to Soundcrawler then just that. On their new album The Dead-End Host they show just that.
It all starts with the song Raiders. As expected, it’s a slow song with a sound being somewhere between being a heavy grunge song and a doom metal song. What I like about it is that it’s not slow all the way through, and picks up at times. I feel this is an exceptional way for Soundcrawler to start off The Dead-End Host, because beyond the songs pace and sound, it has some memorable singing too.
The Dead-End Host is in fact predominantly slow paced though. Burning Scales, Souls From The Trash, The Plastic Truth are all of a very slow pace. Soundcrawler does an exceptional job at making sure the songs don’t all sound alike, which is tough to do when songs all have the same tempo. This also includes the longest song on the album Long Coma Slow. It kind of picks up at times, but even when it picks up, the pace is still what I consider slow. I do, however, feel there is some good song writing and structure to Long Coma Slow that improves my opinion of Soundcrawler.
The times when Soundcrawler pick things up, with tracks like A God To Feed, are very welcome changes. Civil is somewhere between their usual slow pace and the faster tempo of A God To Feed, and if that doesn’t immediately make it a stand-out track on The Dead-End Host, it’s unique and catchy opening riff will. This song also has a growing intensity that the faster songs have. The last faster tempo song on The Dead End Host is Infinite Genocide. This song has a bit of an off-beat, similar to that of an alternative song but it has the signature Soundcrawler sound that’s been present throughout the whole album just with a little more intensity, including a thirty second rant by vocalist Rémy Pocquet which gets more intense by the second, ending with an intense yell of what sounds like the word “fight.”
That intensity at the end of Infinite Genocide is the last we hear of Rémy, as the last song on The Dead-End Host is an instrumental. And All The Seconds Left is an acoustic instrumental that lasts over three minutes. The sounds of guitar feedback assist the sounds of acoustic guitars, making for a very interesting sound and also making for what I consider a good album closer thanks to its uniqueness and the fact that I wasn’t expecting Soundcrawler to end an album like this.
From a song writing standpoint I’m impressed enough with Soundcrawler to feel The Dead-End Host an album worth listening to. I feel the slow “stoner” rock sounding songs get a little tedious to listen to at a point, so I’d hope future releases from Soundcrawler have a little more variety, but they have an attitude to their sound that I hope doesn’t change. It’s not the most original, but it sounds good. Their ability to put catchy melodies in to slow and not-so-happy songs is something to be cherished.
“Raiders” – This and Civil are the two finest songs on the album, but the reason I’d pick Raiders – aside from being the only of the two songs with a song sample that I can provide – is because it covers both aspects of Soundcrawler‘s sound. It is mostly slow paced like most of the album, but it picks up to a moderately faster tempo, as do some other songs on the album, and as a song in itself it is well written and catchy enough to hook listeners into listening to more from The Dead-End Host.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|2.||Burning Scales 04:12|
|3.||A God to Feed 03:30|
|4.||Long Coma Slow 07:03|
|5.||Souls From the Trash 03:54|
|6.||The Plastic Truth 04:51|
|8.||Infinite Genocide 04:43|
|9.||And All the Seconds Left 03:21|