Crom – The Cocaine Wars 1974-1989

14 Sep

Crom are all about 2 things – Conan The Barbarian and drugs. Lots of drugs.

Essentially they’re a grind/powerviolence band and this is their first 12″ – The Cocaine Wars 1974-1989. Originally released on CD by Pessimiser (the label ran by Despise You’s vocalist I think) in 2001 and later pressed onto vinyl and re-released by Forest Moon Special Products (Endor, surely?) on a limited run of 250.

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Yes that’s a warrior woman riding on a polar bear.
The bands influences are no secret:

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I said they were ‘essentially’ a grind/pv band, but this gets nowhere near to describe what it’s like to listen to Crom. The best I could do to let you in on it, would be a track by track for the first few minutes of this album. Ok, here we go:

We start with howling winds, an operatic war march tune fades in, all choirs and violins. It lasts for a few seconds and fades out again. Winds still howling. Slow, crusty metal starts playing that sounds like it’s building to something which then … stops. A sample of Venom on stage in (presumably) the 80’s asking the crowd if they like “SPEEEEED METAL?! BLAAAACK METAL?”. A quick 40 second burst of Crom actually playing some fast/slow powerviolence. A tiny Arnie Conan sample. Another 30 second burst of Crom. More howling winds for 40 seconds. Pounding drums come in, another Conan sample appears behind it. Stops. Crom play screaming, deranged grindcore for 20 seconds. Howling winds fade in…. then Crom actually play for around 4 minutes, a song with an actual beginning and ending. Pan pipes and howling winds fade in and close the track….

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Thats all in the first 8 tracks. No pauses, no gaps. There’s another 23 tracks to come. Listening to Crom is like having someone channel hopping between 3 TV channels rapidly – one showing Conan, one playing old 80’s metal videos and one playing some really well put together grindcore. It’s like nothing else.

Please listen to Crom, bang your head and laugh your face off.

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