Carrion – The Crime of Idle Hands

The Crime of Idle Hands

Carrion is a band I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing live when the group opened for the Hidden Hand at the Ottobar in Baltimore a few months ago. It was my first trip to the Ottobar, and I’ll fully admit I was there to see the Hidden Hand, Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s (of Spirit Caravan, Obsessed, and St. Vitus fame) new outfit. Carrion caught my attention with an interesting mix of metal and hardcore with hints of math rock and jazz. It was a different mix of styles than I’m used to finding on the metal scene, so this is a band that easily sticks out in my memory – in fact I can’t recall anything about the third band that played that night. Although I enjoyed Carrion’s set, I recall thinking they played too long, and this feeling carries over somewhat to this album, The Crime of Idle Hands.
Carrion’s music is best described as simply being heavy. At first listen, you might think this is straightforward stoner rock or some sort of doomy metal, but there is more going on here. Sure, you get the deep grooves and relentless rhythm section that you expect from that style of music, but Carrion is much more cerebral than your average stoner-rock or doom band. While not overly technical and tip-toeing on progressive territory, this trio definitely infuses a level of intricacy that, coupled with the already cerebral nature of the music, makes me think of math rock. The sum of its parts equals an intense, emotional listening experience sure to please fans of all things heavy.
The 10 tracks on The Crime of Idle Hands fit together almost seamlessly. Though not repetitive by any means, the band’s sound tends to blend to the point of sounding similar from one track to the next. You really have to pay rapt attention at times to notice some of the nuances that set one song apart from another. As such I can’t easily pick out any favorite tracks from this album; they are all decent. I can, however, say without difficulty that I wish Carrion had trimmed a few songs and gone for more of an EP length. Perhaps someone just a tad more floored by The Crime of Idle Hands would feel that ten songs is the perfect length for this release.
Carrion is certainly a band to keep an eye on. The Crime of Idle Hands is the band’s first full-length effort, so their momentum is just beginning to really build. This album is well worth picking up if you lean toward the stoner-rock/doom side of music, but I think aficionados of hardcore and math rock will enjoy this too if approached with an open mind.