Craft - Fuck the Universe
Carnal Records
Black Metal
11 songs (51:18)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Aaron

I gotta tell you, when I get an urge to listen to Craft, which is pretty often considering that they’re basically the same band as Darkthrone minus the jokester drummer, I go for Terror Propaganda. Occasionally I mistakenly turn on Total Soul Rape and then leave it on because I’m too lazy to change it, but really, Craft is a one-good-album-band for me. Terror Propaganda was a great record, and if they ever top that, they’ll be coming down hard on all the other unworthy Darkthrone-clones.

Fuck the Universe does not change my perception of Craft as a one-good-album-band, and I can safely say that if I put this on instead of Terror Propaganda, that I’ll get up to change it immediately. It’s a departure from their earlier style (Now they’re aping Carpathian Forest as well), but not a well-executed one.

The production is extremely clear, and actually very well-done. The band’s previous albums were, of course, quite a bit fuzzier and more indistinct, but Fuck the Universe is very well produced. The drums are punchy and have a nice ample ‘thunk’ to ‘em, the guitars are shining under layers of polish, and the vocals are much easier to make out than on Craft’s last two efforts, which is a good thing, since I really like this guy- he sounds like the bizarre love-child of Nocturno Culto and an American tourist right after vomiting up several pounds of fried Norwegian goat-head. Unfortunately, this production really doesn’t suit this sort of music. Carpathian Forest makes it work, but they incorporate a much larger dose of straight-up rock into their music then Craft does, and so Carpathian Forest’s music lends itself to production like this much better. Craft is trying to have their cake and eat it too- to sound accessible and rocking like Carpathian Forest, while remaining as serious and necro as old Darkthrone. It just doesn’t work.

The songwriting has also degenerated in quality. It’s too schizophrenic, too reliant on tempo changes and sudden dirges, and less reliant on great riffs. They can’t keep the whole thing interesting throughout this record, which is sad, and leads me to detract more points from their overall score. Heck, there are even solos, but they’re so clichéd (you’ve heard em before, a thousand times) that their inclusion does nothing for the record.

There are a few good songs on this one. The title track is a nice thrash-influenced riff-frenzy, Earth a Raging Blaze is a good opening song with an immediate impact sort of feeling, carried by the vocals more than the flawed, ultimately boring riffs, and there seems to be some sort of strange drone in the background that gives the song much more atmosphere than the others. Thorns in the Planet’s Side is one of those rare occasions where the tempo changes make the song compelling as opposed to ruining its mood, and it has a nice rock-influenced riff set that pops up at around 3:05 and continues on for a while, along with the return of the cool, atmospheric drone. An even better set follows at around 5:20, this one influenced by doom. Best song on the album by far.

Do I suggest that you buy this record? No, it’s three good tracks with a wagonload of boring filler right afterwards. The occasional cool riff pops up (the beginning of Destroy All, the first riff change in Xenophobia, etc), but nothing compelling or really memorable. If you must have some new Craft, then download the first three songs and re-listen to your old Darkthrone records. Trust me on this one.

Killing Songs :
Earth a Raging Blaze, Thorns in the Planet's Side, Fuck the Universe
Aaron quoted 53 / 100
Other albums by Craft that we have reviewed:
Craft - Void reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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