With their sixth release shortly upon us, Lisburn’s disciples of doom and death, The Crawling are back with another blackened and brow beaten, beast of an album. All Of This For Nothing brings more of that forlorn gloom that has adorned all their previous work, but with this release the lads have really dug deeper that ever before, and have conjured up seven tracks of crushingly heavy but deeply melancholic doom metal that chronicles terrible tales of woe and disquiet. And we wouldn’t want it any other way! To quote guitarist/vocalist Andy Clarke’s brutal summation of existence…“Life is a journey through a bleak, cold, harsh reality that ends in a void of nothingness”… and All Of This For Nothing is the perfect soundtrack to that unforgiving philosophy". Enough said!
The first track on the album, March Of The Worm, immediately sounds the death march, as drums roll and rumble through the intro, laying the foundations for those shredded guitars to pierce the umbra and bring forth the ever familiar harsh and black-hearted vocals of Andy. Its slow-paced power and gut-wrenching delivery really sets the scene perfectly for what is to come.
Another Vulture brings more of that wretched goodness that you come to expect from top-tier doom & death metal. With the piercing chorus of Another Vulture, and the deeply melodic guitar tones that hang weightless of every word, this track brings me right back to the glory days of the 90’s doom legends Paradise Lost’s Gothic album. High praise indeed, but never a truer word spoken. Beneath the ferocity of those guitar riffs lie the gorging bass lines of Stuart Rainey which really carry the track right to the death.
The pre-released track, Thy Nazerene is another slab of cold hearted atmospheric doom, that wails and weeps through a sorrowful, yet emotionally stirring chorus of “Where is that boy who hides when he weeps?, where is that boy who’s lies I keep?” Utter vehemence, and utterly brilliant.
As I listen to this album, I cant help but feel that it gets stronger and more all-consuming, the deeper you fall into into it. Bound To The Negative’s slow, ponderous pace is downright infectious yet achingly bleak. The Paradise Lost influence is evident yet again on this track, with those haunting lead guitars and that crushing Beneath Broken Earth vibes. That rugged melody and menace found in the latter stages of the track give it another dimension that makes it one of the standout tracks on the album.
Leaving The Skin and A Light We Cannot See continue to carry the flame, with more devastating riffs, and not forgetting the colossal and thunderous percussions of Gary Beattie, that tie and bind this whole album together. From funereal paced crashes to near blast beaten fury, the drumming here is insane!
The Closing track, Sparrow, is a rework of their 2021 single and it’s a fitting way to close the album. More death than doom, it’s a tour de force, and a track that weaves and wanders through slow patient passages and punishing cement-heavy riffs. That closing riff leeches into your skull and carries you over the threshold, ending an album that sees The Crawling once again, release another beast of an album. Even the sublime artwork of Travis Smith only adds to the pain and isolation that’s found draped across every track on All Of This For Nothing. A beautifully bleak and brutal journey through the realms of grief and despair.