Boundless Domain

MNRK Heavy
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Boundless Domain
02. Intestinal Wrap
03. Vitrified Earth
04. The Parthian Shot
05. Creators Turned Into Prey
06. Cursed
07. Remnant Of The Old Gods
08. Looming
09. The Common Breed
10. The Edge Of Existence (Bonus)

When a band is named after one of the greatest songs of all time, their music had better be pretty fucking good. CREEPING DEATH certainly impressed with their 2019 debut "Wretched Illusions", which gave the Texas crew's gritty blend of death metal and thrashy 'core a rigorous first workout. The follow-up, which comes an understandable four years later, looks likely to be a much bigger deal.

Texas is very much the epicenter of American heaviness right now, and "Boundless Domain" offers a neat encapsulation of the deathly fervor gripping the scene. Much like the mighty FROZEN SOUL, CREEPING DEATH are repurposing old-school ideas for a new, more vicious age, adding hardcore sensibilities and the occasional mutant breakdown to an otherwise relentless wave of classic death riffing. These songs are heavier and more meticulously crafted than those on the band's debut, and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE legend Adam Dutkiewicz's production strikes the perfect balance between cutting-edge crunch and atavistic filth. In terms of winning over fans from several generations, CREEPING DEATH have nailed it.

Future albums may see them take more risks, but right now CREEPING DEATH are reveling in their own power and pursuing a cheerfully myopic path. The result is songs like "Intestinal Wrap" and "The Parthian Shot", tyrannical squalls of speed and power, with mid-paced death metal menace as a reliable bedrock, and cudgeling, beatdown riffs thrown in to keep pits nice and nasty. Metalheads of a certain age may notice passing resemblances to GRAVE, BOLT THROWER and ASPHYX, but something like "Creators Turned Into Prey" melds those influences into a fiercely streamlined and dramatic whole, while "Cursed" hinges on a tooth-rattling thrash groove that wouldn't be out of place on a PRONG record. CREEPING DEATH make it all sound entirely natural, of course: from the macabre ooze of "Remnant Of The Old Gods" to the flat-out blasting madness of "The Common Breed", "Boundless Domain" always feels like a perfectly conceived body of work, executed by diehards. It peaks with the bonus track murderous swarm 'n' stomp of "The Edge Of Existence", an eccentric variation on CREEPING DEATH's usual theme that hints at more adventurous noises to come.

"Boundless Domain" fulfills all of CREEPING DEATH's self-evident potential, while saluting the past, relishing the present and absolutely wrecking the place. Top work.

Author: Dom Lawson
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