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Crawling Manifest - Radical Absolution

Crawling Manifest
Radical Absolution
by Darren Duffy at 30 June 2021, 8:38 PM

CRAWLING MANIFEST was formed in 2014 on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, USA. “Radical Absolution” is their second full-length album following on from two EPs and the 2016 full-length debut “Battlegrounds”. After multiple line-up changes, remaining members Andrew Gladu and Trevor Layton made the decision to write new music taking influence from their favorite types of thrash metal. Originally intended to be a 4-track EP, “Radical Absolution” eventually became a full album due to the extra material written during the extended pandemic lockdown. There is a great emphasis placed on the message within the lyrics dealing with social and political issues.

There is a distinct thrashy edge to CRAWLING MANIFEST, although not many sections would hit full speed over the course of the album, drawing comparison to LAMB OF GOD and POWER TRIP. The vocals are suitably harsh and aggressive but tend to make the lyrics difficult to decipher in places. Opening track “Land of the Free” is a 2-minute instrumental starting off with clean guitar as backing for a solo which builds and then fades into the sound of gunfire before exploding into the first single “World War III” with a heavy barrage of riffing and double bass drumming. “Nothing to Lose” continues the momentum with a chunky verse riff, leading to a speedy thrash section before settling into a heavy groove on the bridge / chorus.

Right to Refrain Silence“ has a call for action as the message. This track is mainly a mid-paced riff heavy stomp. At the beginning of track 5 “Radical Absolution” there is a brief refrain from the previous onslaught in the form of an intro with both clean guitar and vocals. The clean vocals are also utilized on the chorus in tandem with the harsh vocals adding a bit of depth and clarity.  The pace slows for track 6 “Blood Born”, that lumbers under the heaviness of the riffs. “Revolution” is the second single and raises the energy levels with this up-tempo number. including one of the more memorable choruses on the album. Last up is the final track “Onslaught”, featuring a great chugging riff that is propelled by a constant double bass drum pattern. The song abruptly stops, kicks into full speed thrash with a wailing solo before closing out with a bluesy hard rock riff.

In conclusion: “Radical Absolution” has plenty of great heavy riffs accompanied by some catchy grooves but is hampered by the production and one-dimensional vocal lines.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Land of the Free
2. World War III
3. Nothing to Lose
4. Right to Refrain Silence
5. Radical Absolution
6. Blood Born
7. Revolution
8. Onslaught
Andrew Gladu - Vocals/Bass/Drums
Trevor Layton - Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 11 June 2023

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