Review: Murderofcrows – Gibbets

Murderofcrows are a new punkish hardcore four-piece from Gothenburg, here to share with you their feelings of dread, sorrow and alienation in the form of new EP Gibbets. Daniel Liljedahl wrenches the vocals out of the dry depths of his gut, joined by the punk drum beats of Johannes Koren and the strings of both guitarist Anton Hedlund and bassist Jimmy Olausson.

The EP is carved into 4 tracks, the first three flowing as you might expect for a band I’ve described as punkish hardcore – all songs less than 2mins, fast drums, throaty screams – with the final and title track offering a little something extra as well.

First track ‘Crooked Words’ is straight-up what I expected: a fast, hard-edged track, with stripped-down instrumentation but overflowing with anger and negativity. Next up ‘Ol’ Geogie’ lets the guitar and bass take some of the limelight, slowing the tempo and allowing a bit of rhythm to take over, but it isn’t long before Daniel charges back to the fore “LIVE, LIE, LIVE, DIE”. Even though ‘Set Myself Alight’ has a little guitar and drum feature at the beginning, it quickly runs into the fast-paced punk set up, with Daniels coarse cries once again a feature “SET MYSELF ALIGHT!”.

The closing track ‘Gibbets’ doesn’t just bring the title of the EP with it, it brings a bloody great surprise with it too. As a final track it really stands on its own as slower and more purposeful than the others. It showcases better crafter changes of pace, really delivering the coarsely screamed cries with a spine-chilling edge: “You look away, I look away, we all look away”…

As it kicks back into life, what is evident is that the messages conveyed in the lyrical content are far more than the angst and rebellion of some punk, it’s full on depression and despair, engulfed in hopelessness and collapsing into nothingness. I’m not sure even that sums it up accurately, but in essence, this shit is pretty fucking dark: “This life is just a fucking nightmare and we all end up alone”.

If you could put music by a colour chart, for these guys we’d need to find something darker than black.

At 11mins long I thought we were in store for an metal-esque epic, but the teases bring something much creepier to the table. The main body of the song is just over three minutes in all of its dark decent into madness; then all goes quiet. Okay, so Murderofcrows aren’t the only band to have a quiet 6-7mins at the end of an EP before a quick burst of life – but I can’t remember it ever being done this eerily.

With about a minute left on the clock, a slight sound of distortion creeps in. Distortion and white noise… or is that distorted screams? I could be hearing things here, but whatever you hear it as, it brings back memories of the horror films you shouldn’t have been watching (but definitely did) when you were young. Finally, the creepy-ass noise gives way to a brief sort of exitlude of punkish drums and Daniel’s screams.

If you like punk, if you like hardcore, if you like anything dark, listen to this.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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