Crawling Manifest - Forevermore - (7.5/10)
Published on October 20, 2016
Genre:Melodic Heavy Metal / Thrash
Maryland natives Crawling Manifest arrive with a veritable bang with their debut EP Forevermore. Listed as simply heavy metal, this band’s sound feels like it owes more to thrash, and maybe even melodic death metal. This is a very eclectic band, siphoning influence from a variety of disparate subgenres, featuring epic clean vocal refrains and an overall triumphant tone. The galloping rollick of opener “At the Gates” feels simple and punk-infused at times, with crossover-esque thrash verses playing off a menagerie of epic lead breaks and fist-raising vocal melodies. Sometimes I am reminded of Suidakra, or maybe even Kalmah. That said, the overarching vibe of the EP is clearly melodic thrash metal, buffed with a slightly more modern sheen and moderate proclivity for hooks.
It doesn’t sound super polished either, but Forevermore could easily pass as a debut full-length; and nearly does with six fleshed-out tunes that hardly feel slapped together. Lascivious refinement aside, the stronger moments of the EP include the caustic speed metal barrage of the aptly-titled “Speed Demon” and the imperial march of the melodic heavy metal number “Blistering Inside.” I almost feel some metalcore buried within Crawling Manifest’s sound as well, at least concerning the unbridled melodicism of the clean vocals. These cleans feel slightly amateurish at times, especially on “Tabula Rasa,” and to be frank I’m not totally sold on the constipated grunting that dominates the primary vocal assault. “Undying” features the worst of this, even if the riffs retain the virulence displayed earlier. I’m certainly digging this epithet of epic heavy metal, which features a stomping gait that drops like a ten-ton hammer. These are riffs that are simple, yet a lot of fun to air-guitar to.
There is certainly room to improve, but Crawling Manifest have made an idiosyncratic entrance worth remembering here on Forevermore. If you are partial to thrash metal fraternized with voluminous aggression and uplifting melody alike, these guys are a band worth keeping an eye on. Despite its eccentricity, the material feels snappy and not at all cluttered and/or confusing. Aside from some uneven percussion (further hampered by the uneven drum mix), the final product feels fleshed-out and competent. As it stands, this is a quick and easy purchase on CDBaby, and surely a great start for the band.