How much misery is too much? Cleveland sludge dealers Deathcrawl seem to have found a level that does not exceed the maximum on their third studio album, with eight tracks checking in just shy of 49 minutes.
The album opens with a couple shorter songs, with “False Oracle” wasting little time getting into the downtuned depravity. The Noothgrush is strong with this one, a pretty bleak number. Though just shy of two and a half minutes, there’s nothing speedy about “Zenith,” a pummeling mid-paced piece of blackened sludge.
All the other songs on here surpass the six-minute mark. “Universally Diminished” comes off as a cross between Black Pyramid and Borracho, with the vocals being clearly intelligible for the most part, although not what I’d call “clean.” “Entombed by all the Things We Seek” noticeably slows things down, while shoveling an extra layer of grit onto both the guitars and vocals, with a couple riffs that channel Eyehategod. “Corrupted Earth” leans more toward Down or Crowbar, while the heavy tones and tortured screams of “No Good at Living” border on death/doom a la Winter.
The nearly nine-minute “Derelict” does seem to drag on a bit too long, though. Perhaps they’ve exceeded the acceptable level on this one?