Even though France’s main extreme metal exports are black metal and progressive death metal, it’s sometimes possible to find good surprises if you care to look for them.
Such is the case of Creeping Fear, a band that focus its energy on producing classic death metal. Starting with the band’s name, everything on “Onward to Apocalypse” is a very fine homage to the best that U.S. old-school death metal has ever released. A bit of Morbid Angel here, a pinch of Incantation there, a tad of Jungle Rot and Brutality on top and a feel that Immolation would wish they had is what you can expect from this album, which by itself is a considerable achievement.
The first bitch slap you get is when you listen to the heaviness of the guitars on tracks like “Swallowed by Death” and “Onward to Apocalypse”, which reek of Trey Azagthoth all over; for our luck, Gabriel and Clément clash ferociously throughout the album, and it’s easy to point out the guitars’ work as the main driving force behind “Onward to Apocalypse”. Even the solos are little less than perfect having in mind the path taken by Creeping fear, and if it sometimes reminds you of the “Gateways to Annihilation”-era Morbid Angel or the “In Mourning”-era Brutality, that’s because they in fact do.
Then come the vocal duties, which Clément performs flawlessly in a sharp, guttural and screeched way that sends us back to the glory days of Tampa, Florida. A precise and yet unpretentious drum and bass work polish it off, and a modern but old-school like production seals the deal that is “Onward to Apocalypse”.
While it’s not a genre defining album, it certainly offers a fresh and solid approach to the death metal releases of today. Big thumbs up.
About Creeping Fear: