Album The Crash & The Draw
Release Date: 7 April 2015
Label Relapse Records Genre Doom Metal | Post-Metal
Well, it has been six years since the last Minsk album was released. The wait has been completely worth it, because as Christopher Bennett wanted to do, the band has raised the bar again. The Chicago band released The Crash & The Draw to the world through Relapse Records on April 7th, of this year. It has taken me awhile to find what to say about this record and that is because of how much has been embedded into it.
From the opening three minutes of setting the mood, it is clear that something epic in proportions is about to be unleashed, but there is still a wait. The first half of “To the Initiate” only sets up what is going to happen. It is not until then that the band lets all their fury decimate the mix, with a grotesque sounding sludge guitar progression slowly building up until the destructive ending. The screams are more appealing than the clean vocals, but the cleans do their part in creating the contrast between the dynamic explosions of distortion and warm guitars. I about lost my jaw because it dropped so low when “Within and Without” came to an end as a 13-second visceral scream is unleashed after about 2 minutes of constructive buildup.
“Onward Procession” is a four-track monster spiraling through sludge, thrash, post-metal, and even a harmonious instrumental before part IV “Return, the Heir” dwindles down to a close. In my opinion part II “The Soil Calls” was the best part of the progression, with a filthy groove trudging along about halfway through. “Conjunction” is a warm atmospheric blend of serene volume swells with an introspective tone. “The Way Is Through” is a nine-minute behemoth spanning various genres of metal, all done with great taste and skill. The thing about this album by Minsk is that it shows off just how well they can construct a song. Even near 10 minutes they have enough variables and energy to keep every change, buildup, and comedown just as interesting as a part in another song.
If anyone really wants to see just how visceral and dark this band will go, check out the closing number “When the Walls Fell,” which has some of the most vicious screams and guttural yells on this 1 hour and 15 minute record. The closing groove of this album is fucking fantastic, abruptly cutting it off with nothing but a discordant cymbal to announce Minsk’s exit from your eardrum.
Holy shit. It not only took me over seven plus hours to even think of a way to review this, but it took longer to listen to The Crash & The Draw enough to feel like I could comprehend it. I'm sure I just scratched the surface. Also, try to sleep at night while "To You There Is No End" and tell me how that goes.