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Cleaver – No More Must Crawl

No More Must Crawl
by Mark Machlay at 07 July 2022, 5:59 AM

French metallic hardcore trio CLEAVER recently released their first crushing full-length studio album “No More Must Crawl” this last May via Klonosphere Record with worldwide distribution provided by Season of Mist. The band was founded in late 2018 between two brothers. With Mathis Garelli on guitar and vocals alongside his brother and drummer Léo-Paul Garelli, Franck Fortina on bass and vocals would join them in their pursuit of their hardcore goals. During their first year of existence, the trio dropped two studio singles, “Desperate” – which now appears as the opening track to their debut - and “Ghost of Us” and played numerous shows at their local scene opening for bands such as CROWBAR, LOFOFORA, and POGO CAR CRASH CONTROL. The youth and energy shared between the two brothers surely gives them an edge especially in the amount of speed and ferocity that hardcore music takes. Fortina seems to be a bit older than the brothers and any expertise he brings can only strengthen the power and fame that CLEAVER can achieve.

As far as their new album “No More Must Crawl”, CLEAVER’s debut is certainly chaotic, powerful and seems to lay all their abilities out onto the table for all to see. The album was produced by the band with Nicolas Gardel at Face B Production in France, mixed by Tim de Gieter at Much Luv Studio in Belgium and mastering done by Brad Boatright from his own Audiosiege Mastering Studio who has worked with SKELETONWITCH, NAILS, OBITUARY, and ZAKK SABBATH. Prior to the release of the album, they made another song from their debut “Sunset” available as a single and even released a music video for the song. The music is punishing metallic hardcore, inspired by American hardcore punk similar in style to CONVERGE, BOTCH, and POISON THE WELL. The band’s sound is self-described as merging “violent, heavy riffs, pounding drums and grinding vocals to craft a sound that is equally dark, oppressive, and intense.”

The tumultuous and some may say crude sounding CLEAVER is a cavalcade of a delivery in “No More Must Crawl”. It’s hard to describe what’s going on as a style but its basis is certainly hardcore with elements of sludgy, thrashy heavy metal with so much dissonance it may be hard for some to comprehend. That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable it just seemed like a style we’ve heard before – late 90s American hardcore just before it started to morph into the new style of metalcore – churned out through a modern lens. Sometimes it’s hard listening to bands such as this because I realize that this sound was popular over 20 years ago and we’re now revisiting it again. In true hardcore style, most of the tracks are hard hitting, lyric screaming, punky good times in mostly under three minutes. One exception is the equally short but more melodic turn of “Inner Voice” in which the trio switches back and forth between almost whisper quiet, plaintive rips while being punctuated by the black metal screeched “choruses”. They jump right back into the two highlights of the album, “The Plight” in which chunky, blunt chords permeate most of the sons before slowing to sloggy grind, and “Thudding Stares” in which they take a turn into grindcore for a hot two minutes.  It’s not exactly, wholly original, but CLEAVER blend just enough modern flair to make it something unique.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Desperate
2. Dressed in Sorrow
3. Sunset
4. Inner Voice
5. The Plight
6. Thudding Stares
7. KYG (Kill Your Guru)
8. Light On
9. No More Must Crawl
10. Grief
Mathis Garelli – Guitar & Vocals
Léo-Paul Garelli – Drums
Franck Fortina – Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Klonosphere Records


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