Creeping Death – The Edge of Existence (EP Review)

Creeping DeathThe Edge of Existence
Released: October 8th 2021

Line Up:

Reese Alavi // Vocals
Trey Pemberton // Guitar
A.J. Ross III // Guitar
Eric “Rico” Mejia // Bass
Lincoln Mullins // Drums

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One of the hottest bands lurking in the extreme music underground, old-school death metal worshiping Texans Creeping Death bring the groove and riffs on their new EP, The Edge of Existence. The release features six ripping tracks, three freshly minted, the other trio re-recorded tunes from their original self-titled 2016 EP. With their excellent debut, 2019’s Wretched Illusions, making waves and putting them on the road with variety of metal and hardcore acts, the five-piece’s new extended play is far from just a stop-gap in Creeping Death’s quickly growing back catalogue.

The classic early 90s death metal sound has made a huge resurgence in the last few years in the subterranean metal scene, with newer bands embracing the more rough and grimy sounds of the past. Creeping Death have run with this template whilst adding their own outside influences, with a clear hardcore vein running through their sound. The Edge of Existence is natural, raw and real; yes, it’s unpolished and clearly has dirt under it’s nails – but it’s all the better for it, with Ryan Bram’s reverb-heavy production both big and punchy.

Extreme metal isn’t the easiest style of music to make instantly ear-grabbing, but Creeping Death have clearly taken notes from some of the genre’s most revered acts, such as OSDM kings Bolt Thrower and Obituary. Those classic band’s careers were built upon the ability to create heavy-as-hell music, yet never sacrificing the craft of riff writing and conjuring headbang-able grooves. 

The Edge of Existence’s fantastic opening title track sums up everything great about the EP; thick guitar parts, great hooks and wicked tempo changes. No pointless intro or mucking about, it’s straight into uptempo riffing and vocalist Reese Alavi’s tortured, yet well enunciated, growls and screams. ‘Relics From The Past’ and ‘Doused In Flames’ both start quickly with trem-picked riffs and rampaging drums, but move into fat grooves and mosh-ready beatdowns. 

The core of The Edge of Existences sound stays the same over it’s 23 minute run-time, yet never becomes monotonous or repetitive – again, another testament to the focused songwriting on display, with the excellent ‘Humanity Transcends’ a prime example of this. It’s almost primal in a sense, and while the songs aren’t simplistic, they’re not bogged down with superfluous displays of technical showmanship, rather writing for the sake of the song. On record it’s powerful stuff, but it’s obvious that this high-energy music was built for sweaty venues and packed clubs.

With a second full length around the corner, Creeping Death have gone from strength to strength, keeping the balance of extremity and brutality with ear-catching songwriting skills. In a genre where most bands just want to play as fast and intensely as possible, the focus on crafting great, immediately enjoyable songs is an under appreciated talent. If their forthcoming new LP is anything like The Edge of Existence, Creeping Death may be the next group to crawl up from the underground into the mainstream.

Creeping DeathThe Edge of Existence tracklisting

1. The Edge of Existence
2. Relics From The Past
3. Humanity Transcends
4. Sacrament of Death
5. Doused In Flames
6. Skinned Alive

Rating: 9/10
The Edge of Existence is out now on MNRK Heavy. Get it here.
Review By – Andrew Kapper

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