Album Review: Creeping Death – Boundless Domain

Album Review: Creeping Death - Boundless Domain
Reviewed by Sam Jones

Creeping Death have certainly come a long way in a comparatively short number of years. Formed only in 2015 out of Texas, United States, the band’s style of death metal stands firmly against many of their contemporary fellows as they champion the implementation of hardcore elements into their sound to craft something genuinely unique in extreme metal. Creeping Death have their next album coming out for a release date of June 16th, titled Boundless Domain, and coming out via independent means. The band’s first releases were out quickly, as the band unleashed a Single and their first Demo in the same year of their formation however, by 2016, the band’s first EP, Sacrament Of Death, was released and soon followed suit by 2018’s Specter Of War EP. Finally, in 2019 the band unveiled their first studio work titled Wretched Illusions and really opened many people’s eyes towards their sound. It’s striking to realise we are only on the band’s second studio album yet it feels like they’ve already done and been around so much more than they actually have. Now, with Boundless Domain the band look to throw out another demonstration of their prowess so let’s see what they have in store for us.

Creeping Death have always possessed a harder style of album production across their recent releases, however I feel like Boundless Domain is where the band have truly mastered the art of the compact aesthetic. When you listen to the band play, you get the sense that each element the band utilise is being kept close together to make their impact all the more powerful since there isn’t anything allowed to offshoot from their soundscape. The band’s hardcore style has always been prevalent and the same is no different here either, yet it definitely felt like the band wished to eliminate any escaping sound altogether. Boundless Domain feels walled in with concrete; where once a riff or vocal delivery could escape somewhat through the walls, now the band have sealed any potential cracks up entirely. It definitely comes across as a more straight up, solid death metal work than anything else the band have yet offered up.

One side effect regarding this choice of aesthetic results in a clearer but sharper guitar attack than what I can recall Creeping Death offering up beforehand. Riffs not only feel meatier in the mix but soloing is much more apparent, as well as any more freeform guitar playing; this is especially so when whammy bars, tapping sequences and small, vicious licks are implemented into the songwriting. The guitar work is sublimely electric and it’s also wondrously polished, bringing out the gleam in Creeping Death’s performance for the first time. We mustn’t insinuate this as a wholly clean sound however; the band’s approach to extreme metal still retains that hard hitting power their hardcore elements possessed except now it’s been refined and reordered into something with much more finesse and focus.

Album Review: Creeping Death - Boundless Domain

I’ve always appreciated the pacing Creeping Death work with, and Boundless Domain may just be the most comfortable sitting of a record I’ve heard in a good while. The songwriting takes you through all these turns and throws you into vistas you would never have seen yourself in prior to the album’s start, yet the band do so at a pace that never races you from one instance to the next; much of what they do is kept at a pretty median pace so your interpretation of their performance is never swaying back and forth between faster and smoother elements. It’s because of this reason why Boundless Domain possesses such an easygoing listening experience whereby the track running goes by so naturally, and your senses are never overwhelmed by anything the band throw up at us. It’s by far one of the more comfortable extreme metal experiences I’ve had, placing myself amidst the eye of a storm whilst the maelstrom rages round me.

For a band that, by now, has become pretty expected for what kind of material they’ll give us, I loved how the band handled their drumming across this record. I would reckon the drumming, more than any other piece of instrumentation here, hallmarks the band’s evolving maturity as we move from one release to the next. The patterns of drumming we get here are always changing and seldom are we given a singular approach to drumming for too long a time. We may receive a standard 4/4 drumming pattern one minute before we’re subjected to a much slower yet precise style that goes hand in hand with the riffs on display. Then a sudden blast beat can burst out of nowhere owing to the band’s immediately heightened intensity. Overall, the drumming follows along to whatever the band is requiring at that point in the record as they certainly seem to follow closely along to the vocals and riffs.

In conclusion, Boundless Domain feels like another notch in Creeping Death’s strong discography whereby they not only excel in providing quality, but in continuing to push the boundaries of what people come to expect from them. The hardcore elements are still present yet it does feel like the band might be wishing to progress down more typical death metal lines. Earlier works sport the hardcore side of things with greater prevalence so it’s interesting to see this steady shift towards a more contemporary form of extreme metal. With that said, their hardcore elements are given room and time to shine as it meshes seamlessly with the more straightforward death metal element. It’s definitely one of the more comfortable listens I’ve had in some time as the band play around you as opposed to throwing you into the mire. On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed this album and it will no doubt entertain scores of fans new and old alike when it releases.

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