Review: The Crotals – Horde

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Do you like things bleak and sludgy? Well then it’s time to get filthy with Switzerland’s The Crotals, who recently released their sophomore album Horde through Tenacity Music.

Right from the beginning The Crotals smack you in the face with a low and grimy brick of sound with the certified banger “Falling.” Things soon lean back for the low-and-slow approach people tend to expect in sludge, though, with the next track “Hello.” The bass has a great solo line throughout the record and the layers built around it keep things fairly interesting throughout, though my interest started flagging until track 3, “La Horde,” with its frantic lo-fi sampling of a gravely-voiced speech and a pace that has ramped back up.

“Skogen” is another banger, but with a heaping handful of groovy riffage to make sure you get it stuck in your head. The second half of the record seems to be full to the back teeth of these groovier-sounding songs, with a glut of funky basslines full of chromatic motion. The final track, “Dry Flood,” brings another banger with a quick and bouncy main motive. Randy Schaller, of Voice Of Ruin fame, has a meaty and gravelly bark that only lends to the weight of the entire album.

Unfortunately, despite the range showcased by the band, everything does begin to blend together a bit too much for me, and while the first few listen throughs were interesting and energetic, Horde hasn’t stayed as fresh as other records in my collection. While this isn’t one that has stayed in heavy rotation for me, I do still dig it enough to recommend it—especially when every once in a while after a long day at work I’ll put on that opening track on the drive home and immediately feel like kicking ass again.

3.5 out of 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Horde is available now through Tenacity Music.

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