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And here is something special and something what is really perfect for the current times, when so many bands, so many labels, zines and maniacs adore new bands, which rip the flesh of old styled death metal. It’s special, because even though many, many of these newer bands are totally killer and I support them, still there’s nothing better than the originals! And here is one of these original jewels recorded by one of the most important and greatest death metal bands from the old days. This is “Crawl” EP of Entombed! Not necessarily the most obvious choice from this band (most of maniacs will rather pick up “Left Hand Path” or “Clandestine” or demo plus Nihilist demos), but I suppose that the true collectors of all these ancient death metal relics will have this MLP and will agree that it really is one of the best Entombed releases. Sure, these were quite hard days for the band… they had a killer debut album released, tours were played and all of a sudden a disagreement between LG Petrov and Nicke Andersson happened, what led to the split up with the vocalist. For “Crawl” the band hired Nirvana 2002 vocalist Orvar Safstrom… and you know what? I like his vocals so much that I wish he actually stayed with Entombed for longer, maybe recorded also “Clandestine” with them and later also some other albums… who knows how would the band sound then? But no, Entombed had to hire the useless Johnny Dordjevic, who couldn’t even sing on the album (by the way, I think that Nicke Andersson did good job on “Clandestine”). But that’s another story. Here we’re talking about “Crawl” and yes, for me this MLP, along with “Left Hand Path” is the best stuff, which was released with Entombed logo.
There are just three songs here, but what classics are they! Side A contains the title song and definitely for me it is one of the best songs in the entire Entombed career. So damn vicious, brutal and memorable; so killer riffs and vocal parts! It is a perfect death metal tune! And more so, I must say that I even like this MLP version of it more than the one, which you can find on “Clandestine” album! And then side B contains “Forsaken”, which is kind of exclusive song for this MLP – very good one, indeed, classic Entombed! – and a new version of “Bitter Loss”, which originally appeared on “Left Hand Path”. I’m not really sure for the reasons why Entombed decided to record this song, not something different, but who cares… it is another classic Entombed tune for me and in this version with Orvar on vocals it just kicks ass! And that’s all I really want to say about “Crawl”. It is a fantastic material, quite difficult to get on vinyl, but I really like it a lot and consider it to be one of the best Swedish death metal jewels from the old days.
Final rate: 90/100
After the crushing and unforgettable Left Hand Path, Entombed played musical chairs with their vocals for a year or so before Lars Göran Petrov returned for Wolverine Blues and all was right in the crypt. This meant Nicke Andersson on vocals for the excellent follow-up Clandestine, but for this brief 3-track EP the band recruited Orvar Säfström of Nirvana 2002, another Swedish death outfit who never made it beyond the underground demo stage. I tend to view Petrov and/or Andersson as the penultimate frontman I identify with all the band's better work, so Säfström's approach is not my ideal. But still, the guy has a pretty decent coughing, hacky voice which, applied to this mix of the songs, is more than passable. For fuck's sake, you could have a caged monkey stoked on PCP-laced bananas provide vocals for Entombed in their prime and it would still have sounded awesome.
The Crawl EP is another of those releases which, due to its rarity, has been made redundant since its release. Unless you are a collector of the obscure, there is probably no reason to ever hunt it down, since it was reprinted as a part of the Entombed compilation in 1997, which is very much worthwhile (as it collects a few of these EPs). The title track is taken from Clandestine, and it's an excellent anthem to the grave, with overpowering chords and eerie strings of old school death melody. The huge groove at 2:00 is worth hearing alone, but the rest of the song is equally memorable, including the bluesy graveyard lead and the more atmospheric howling vocal used in the latter half.
"Forsaken" was the biggest draw for me, as it did not appear on either of the band's first two albums, and perhaps it should have. It really kicks ass, with wild leads that weave through thrashing rhythms in Entombed's trademark, broiling mass of guitar tone. Possibly the best part of the song is the segment that begins at :45, a total forward momentum that forces something inside you to erupt as it bludgeons into some great melodic chords and then a horrific, beautiful sequence at 2:00 where Hellid and Cederlund perform some great, classic metal melodies; there is even a bass guitar freakout. In retrospect, this song may actually be a little too busy and choppy. A mess, but a beautiful mess. The final track here is "Bitter Loss" from Left Hand Path, reworked with the newer vocals, and it's just as potent as ever, with its frantic clawing like a shambling corpse locked inside the morgue.
Crawl would have been a nice treat for the fan who actually could find it right as it dropped, but these years it is completely unnecessary, unless you like staring at the cover art and joining pissing contests about all the wastes of space you have collected. I used to have the cassette version which sounded nice and fat on my stereo, but as the Warden of your Wallets I proclaim that you should simply purchase Entombed (1997) and have your way with its private bits, rather than waste the money here. Also, the promixity of Clandestine's release to this EP kind of set it by the wayside.
I believe this is one of the most overlooked EPs ever by a famous death metal band and not only. Maybe it’s because it was released between one excellent album (Left Hand Path) and a good one (Clandestine), but there’s no excuse if you don’t know this EP. Even if two songs out of three are not completely new (Bitter Loss is in the first album, while Crawl would have been on Clandestine), this EP is really a small gem.
The production is one of the rawest, essential they have ever had. It’s like listening to a Dismember album to me. The chainsaw guitars are always sharp and the vocals are truly brutal. “Crawl” is fantastic with the weird solos parts, the mid tempo and the characteristic riff. “Forsaken” is on raw up tempo with the “wood” sound of the snare drum. This song is powerful with a Grave touch for the production and the good bass sound. The final “Bitter Loss” is famous and fantastic with mosh up tempo.
Overall a good EP that should stay in every death metal fan’s collection but I prefer the debut Left Hand Path anyway, also for the production. A small gem. Very rare.
Ahhh... this is the often forgotten gem in the great early Entombed discography for sure. Everyone always talks about of course "left hand path" and "clandestine" but to me, the latter was a bit of a let down. Loved the previous projects of Johnny Dordevic, but his vocals on Clandestine were nowhere near as good or powerful as the great L.G. Petrov, or Orvar Safstrom (from NIRVANA 2002 glory) on this release... The version of "crawl" on this EP completely blows the "clandestine" version to smitherines!!! Powerful, cutting drums, trademark Sunlight Studios production, and tortured mid-high old school vocals make this a timeless classic!!!!!!!! My favorite song on here has got to be "forsaken". The song transcends from sheer swedish brutality, to one of my favorite melodic parts in swedish DM.... The middle/end of this song is just filled with fucking feeling, and it gives me goosebumps still to this day! This is an absolute must-own release for any self-respecting old school swedish fanatic out there (along with the "but life goes on" demo and "left hand path". Some things are better kept a secret, and this album is one of them... a true diamond in the rough!!!
This spent a lot of time in my Walkman when I bought it, and one listen will tell you why--it is one of the best Entombed releases out there this side of the classic "Left Hand Path". Short and sweet, even without L.G. Petrov's iron-lunged roar, this still kills all in its path. Tomas Skogsberg's production was at its apex on this EP, and everything sounds good and clear, yet crushing as only Entombed used to be able to do. *SIGH* Memories, man...
It starts with "Crawl", which also showed up on their inferior second LP, "Clandestine", and this version is far better. After a chilling intro of sound effects and a spoken word part that is hard to decipher due to the thick Swedish accent of the speaker, the tune launches into a mid tempo double bass romp that has just the right amounts of heaviness and is just fast enough to not drag, unlike the album version, which was too slow. That trademark eeevil Swedish death metal guitar buzzsaw rules supreme here as always, as well as their sinister melodies and riffs, and the bass is thick and heavy as it anchors things down with solid weight. Session vocalist Orvar Safstrom's odd, scratchy growl took some getting used to on my part, but he still has lots of character and I grew to like him.
Second track, "Forsaken" starts off as a straight up thrasher and goes into another mid tempo verse that just explodes back into speedy thrash just as you think it's going to let up a little...yeah, right! Great soloing on this tune as well as high energy bass riffing from Lars Rosenberg--he even turns in a furious little solo during the breakdown right before the solo section. Overall, a killer, with Safstrom's final scream of "I'm Forsaken!!!!!" really leaving a scar.
Third and final track, "Bitter Loss", is a reworking of the song from the first album with better production, and it's just as good as the first time around.
This is just what the tile of the review says it is, and I urge ya'll to seek it out so you can get a taster of what real Swedish DM is like. Nuff sed!