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Review: Cranely Gardens – House of Decay

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Cranely Gardens are a band from New Jersey, having previously released Locust Valley in 2015, they release another EP on the 11th of August titled House of Decay. This is a band that will greatly appeal to the followers of Unearth, Whitechapel, As I lay Dying, and Suffokate.

“History of a Drowning Boy” introduces the EPs sound as the type of metalcore we’ve waited literally a decade to hear again – such as Unearth during the Oncoming Storm era. This goes back to the age when metalcore used arpeggio riffs that were inspired by melodic death metal bands, and the breakdowns were saved for later in the song, not depended on at the beginning. Speaking of, the breakdowns are without doubt deathcore, especially the vocals having that distinct deep howling bark very much like Phil Bozeman. A very good start, I can see a wildfire catching on.

Coming in slower and so much more emotional, “Seven Faces” is possibly my favorite track. It gives me the mental image of an epic struggle through open conflict leading to war and sorrow with the potential to rip whole continents like a phonebook. There is so much outrage felt in the vocals and so much melancholia in the guitars that it gives me the scenery of once-proud monuments crumbling from the ashes of open warfare. Every breakdown is like a tidal wave upon the inhabitants of a barren earth begging to be euthanized. Some stories become songs, and some songs write their own stories.

“Savages” builds up to a chaotic thunderstorm using gang vocals and tonne-weighing riffs accomplished only through a team effort. Chaotic indeed, this tremolo and thrashing monstrosity would be the song to play at every gig and concert, for if there has ever been a song to bring out everyone’s inner crowd-killer, this would be it – whether it’s raining, hailing, or shining, I don’t see anything lesser than circles and walls of death from the audience. The breakdowns conclude the massacre, but only to have listeners wanting more.

The distortion in the riffs of “Rapture” is rough as guts, but as a whole song, it’s so much more complex than the intro would suggest. There are so many transitions that feel so natural and well-timed as they morph into one another. When the tempo switches from slow to upbeat to fast, it’s almost like the listener does not notice because it happens so subtly – I cannot get over how much this band reminds me of Unearth, especially the chorus. While there are breakdowns, buildups, and more transitions in all the right places, I do feel the need to mention that the ringing guitars in the second and third verse are a golden touch-up… and the reason I felt the need to mention that is because I get the feeling no listener ever will. This would have to be my second favorite track.

Begun by a casual drum fill and echoing guitars, “Carry The Earth” is one of the slower songs. While the vocals and guitars are powerful as always, and shining well in the chorus, I did find myself zoning out of the song until the two minute and forty second mark. This is the part where the pace picks up and has a bit of a tremolo segment here and there. Unfortunately, the song loses interest at the three minute and twenty second mark. What could have been another heavy breakdown was a slow and uninspiring finish. It’s not actually a bad song by any means at all; it just pales in comparison to the others.

The final track, “The Challenger” comes in with a guitar lead that brings a power-walking drumbeat and a wave-like breakdown. The song quickly picks up the pace and has the guitar work switching from tremolo to harmony before eventuating to thrash segments. The bridge has a lot of guitar ambience that sounds like a completely different song to the rest of the instruments, but it works so well, and ends with another wave-breakdown.

I feel like these tracks have together gone and taken me on a journey through unimaginable chaos and kept me there through the recovery of the aftermath. I enjoyed this journey a lot and plan to go on it many more times. I give it 9.2/10. One of the best metalcore sounding tracks in years.

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