In the middle of the summer Egyptian iconic band Crescent has released their third LP Carving the Fires of Akhet via Listenable Records. They have decided to continue to investigate deeper their roots, emphasizing middle-eastern elements on an ongoing basis.
Crescent is one of the oldest Egyptian death metal bands, and though they have started to play more classical and pure black metal, soon enough their interests have gradually transformed towards death metal with ethnic elements à la Nile. But black metal foundation is still strong in their music, and eastern motives don’t overload the general spirit of extreme metal. Their history isn’t too prominent, 20+ year career and only three full-length albums and one EP. But their live experience is really remarkable for Egyptian metal band, their tours were very successful, they have shared the scene with a lot of metal monsters, and by the way, Crescent was the first band from Egypt who conquered the scene of Wacken. So no worries, Crescent really has deserved this attention.
Despite the heaviness of the sound and traditional structural metal patterns, they don’t hesitate to implement melodic lines, but very carefully, not damaging the album’s aggression and ethnic sharpness. The same goes with the atmospheric feelings, Carving the Fires of Akhet isn’t too atmospheric or melodic, but still, atmospheric aura (“Serpent of Avaris”) mystifies it and melodic lines (“Imprecations Upon Thy Flame”) soften it’s violent straightforwardness. It’s also amazing how non-progressive album can sound so sophisticatedly smart and technically smooth, meanwhile, the occult folk is intricately entwined in this refined brutality.
The rhythmic patterns vary from thrash/death fuss to traditional doom/death serenity with expected bridges and long instrumental passages (often adorned with skillful guitar solos). There isn’t a single live Egyptian instrument, everything is performed by percussion and plastered by crafty arrangements, but without too artificial or synthetic sound. The sound is very clean, every instrument and singing line is precise and loud, and anyway, the overall sound perception is closer to groove/alt. scene, almost influencing the music itself, but very gingerly, so no need to define the music of Crescent in the category of modern.
Egyptian metal scene even nowadays is unforgivably poor, but Crescent doesn’t just hold their positions, this band goes on to conquer greater heights (for example, finishing as number ten in Global Metal Apocalypse awards with Carving the Fires of Akhet). Everything on this album is well-considered and worked out – catchy melodies, critically tensed atmosphere, mythological allusions and ethnic vibes, so even lack of original ideas and authentic uniqueness just fades away amidst this holistic and striking wall of sound.
Release date: July 16th, 2021
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