Every once in a while one stumbles across the ever elusive one man band. Now outside of Metal this doesn’t seem to be that uncommon. But for Metal, it’s a rare and glorious thing to understand that one man is the songwriter and musician for an entire band. Needless to say, when I found out that the Canadian based CRAWLING QUIET was a one man band essentially, my respect instantly went up for the music and the band itself.
Mark Trudeau, the force behind CRAWLING QUIET, is a pretty damn good song writer. When I first listened to CRAWLING QUIET’s first album, “Crawling Quiet”, I had a lot of fun with it. Mark’s structuring and writing is catchy and clever. Even though the production leaves a little more to be desired for the band, I instantly had a connection with the music and I would even argue that the raw sound of it was kind of fun. Maybe I’m crossing the line when I say it, but I thought the writing on “Crawling Quiet” was very reminiscent of Jeff Waters and some mid era ANNIHILATOR. Which I thought was pretty fun.
With that said, this band could be quite a force but they really need a stronger production. Some of the guitar tones (especially on many of the solos and leads) lose much of their energy and emotion because of the production. There is some great riffing and guitar work on this album but a lot of it loses its punch. Mark is an amazing guitarist and with his song writing abilities he could go very far – but the next step is getting a production that benefits his style rather than hindering it.
Despite his amazing chops on the guitar and songwriting, Mark’s vocals are a little hit and miss. When he is on the song really starts cooking, but occasionally there is a punk tone to his vocals and it really pulled me away from his melodic Thrash Metal writing style. He’s not a bad vocalist per say but with a little work and some focusing on what he wants his vocals to sound like he could really push it to the next level.
Even though many Metalheads have claimed the use of an acoustic guitar is the most ‘un-metal’ thing to do on the planet, when CRAWLING QUIET pulls out the acoustic guitar to layer with the electric sound they use – it’s pretty magical. The last track on the album, “Slowly Changing” is truly an acoustic track at heart but he layers it with some electric guitar lines and it has a great sound to it. So don’t be afraid if you hear an acoustic melody pops up – it really works to their advantage.
Despite some awesome effort on Trudeau’s part, CRAWLING QUIET still has quite a bit of work to do if they want to make it in the Metal world. Finding a little more money for production and some time to play with vocals would benefit the band ten fold. It’s still a well written album and I’m eager to hear the next step from CRAWLING QUIET.
Songs to check out: “Lies”, “Rape The World”, “Death Is A Gateway”.
(Online March 18, 2008)