Crowpath – Old Cuts and Blunt Knives

Crowpath
Old Cuts and Blunt Knives

Crowpath hails from Sweden, the land of flowery metal, but this band is a far cry from any melodic metal, At the Gates imitators. The band plays highly technical metalcore with strong leanings toward grindcore. The best way to picture the Crowpath sound would be if Coalesce, Backstabbers Inc., and Pig Destroyer hung out and decided to write an album together. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

Although the band’s style is highly technical and chaotic, Crowpath exudes an overall feeling of precision and control, much like a meth-head performing a successful brain surgery. The drumming is very arrhythmic and disjointed at first, but if you give it a few listens you realize that there is a method to the mayhem and intricate patterns that sometimes slip into groove territory.

Old Cuts and Blunt Knives is not actually an album though; it’s a collection of sorts. The first two tracks are brand new tracks that appear on the band’s Willowtip debut full-length titled Red on Chrome, and these are probably the most focused tracks on the album. The next four tracks appear on Crowpath’s 2001 7″ and are relentlessly intense. Two others come from the band’s legendary 5″ release on Pillowscars Records and sound raw, almost primal in the best possible way. There is a compilation track and and two more pulled straight off a 7″ because the master tapes were lost, so these two sound like total shit.

Besides the last two tracks, the production is heavy as shit. The bass tone comes through really well and gives the songs a boost. The layout is amazing also, featuring minimal colors – mostly shades of brown and black – and predominant use of the stunning logo.

If you subtract the first two songs because they are on the new full-length and the last two songs because they sound like shit, what’s left is a pretty short collection CD, but it packs a hell of a punch anyway. Jaw-dropping technicality and heavy as a ton of bricks, Crowpath is pushing the limits of heavy music.