The argument isn’t about whether or not drone can be classified as a subgenre of metal, let a genre at all, but instead where can it go? Can it elevate our senses? Perhaps, be worthy to classify it a form of art? On Crowhurst’s latest effort, Death Van, musician Jay Gambit ponders those exact thoughts while transcending the form of drone into a worthy redeemer of “art.”
Drone isn’t new. It’s been around for years with many artists embracing it into their own music. Mastodon, Torche, tons of bands incorporate drone into their music. For virgin ears, it’s easy to brush off drone and label it as just “noise.” I did exactly that years ago when I first heard Sunn 0))). Now I look at drone as still a music form in its infancy, but a musical genre in its own right. If drone is in its infancy still, then Crowhurst has begun the adolescence. While not fully developed into a mature genre, Crowhurst’s Death Van brings us closer.
Death Van challenges us. Mentally and physically. It’s an album that makes you think (given the irony that I feel drone should be listened to while relaxing reading a book). The subtext of the album buries deep into your subconscious and it’s upon after listening to it that I found myself retreating back into the memories and feelings I had while listening to it. Very rarely can an album do that to me. Death Van is not for the casual listener. It’s an album built with detail that is hidden with subtlety. I even tried playing the opening track, “Enter the Death Van,” backwards to find a hidden secret.
The tone of the album fits perfectly for a metal record – it’s evil. This is a dark album, filled with extreme pessimism. Expect to walk away from this album with a sense of gloom. Which is a feeling I love. The world isn’t the brightest and most media does what it can to extinguish our view of it. Gambit does the opposite, he reminds us of how the world really is, something I greatly appreciated.
If you can muster up the challenge, take a listen to Death Van and fall into the abyss.
You can check Crowhurst live playing for the first time in NYC in Brooklyn at Public Assembly Sunday May 12th with Timeghost, Oneirogen, Theologian and Sannhet.