Zebadiah Crowe – Lych Milk EP


Zebadiah Crowe are one of England’s most intriguing underground artists. It’s not clear who or where all the members are from, but SBR favourite, Jordan Allard (Negative Thought Process and Skullfucked), produced and mixed their latest EP. Morri Haig also plays guitars on this record, who many will know in the South East England death-grind/powerviolence scene centred around The Red Lion in Stevenage and Club 85 in Hitchin. Yet establishing more about the vocalist and main songwriter is difficult. With a nom de plume of ‘The Horrid’, we’re none the wiser, although some deeper digging suggests the man behind this carnage is Paul March – a person well known in the Hertfordshire metal scene. But that’s the point of Zebadiah Crowe. Identity is subservient to the malevolent music. As a band who once supported Marduk and Anaal Nathrakh, it should be obvious what to expect here, right?

Well, not quite.

Zebadiah Crower are extreme metal – there can be no doubt about that. But their concoction of black metal and industrial noise terror has a unique poison to it that deserves a deeper post-mortem. ‘Gallows Wood’ is what would happen if you gave the classic Venom line-up a drum machine. The vocal shrieks are low in the mix but hostile and threatening, like a carnivorous Hannibal Lecter anticipating a glass of Chianti. Fans of TRVE black metal will appreciate the lo-fi necro production of the guitars, as will the cyber-goth industrialists looking for sharp beats and ritualistic menace. This is how you bring psychopathy to life through music. One spin will persuade you that a night in with your candles burning and a smattering of weekend corpse paint is a good way to make the most of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Standout track, ‘Sabbaticus’, is Zebadiah Crowe at their heaviest. It’s easily the most death metal of the three songs on offer and sounds like Mortician on laxatives. Jordan Allard’s venomous guitar production oozes a thick layer of sludge and ramps up the treble settings to maximum. Again, the harsh vocals bubble under the surface among a cacophony of dialogue samples and blast beats. The sudden tempo changes and imperious keyboard choirs near the end remind you that this band can be pompous as well as misanthropic.

The final realisation of Zebadiah Crowe’s cunning originality reveals itself in closing track, ‘Footprints’. It’s the song Tom G. Warrior never wrote for Apollyon Sun or Triptykon – think heavy guitar distortion and ear-shattering noise underpinned by Fear Factory drums. Decibel levels are at a maximum here as orchestral keyboard hits vie with an Akercocke blackened-death metal attack for two minutes and thirty-four seconds of pure torment. Witnessing this in a live setting could be as dangerous as a Neurosis or Sunn O))) gig. A tour with Manchester black metal industrialists, The Machinist, would be the ideal stage to unleash the carnage.

We can only hope the members of Zebadiah Crowe have a full-length record in the works. This EP will make your fingers squirm and your face gurn and might even convince you to take up an instrument. Take this as a new lesson in how to generate noise degradation of the highest order.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 05/02/2021

Record Label: Self Released

Standout track: Sabbaticus

Suggested Further Listening: Apollyon Sun – Sub (2000), Ministry – Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992), Mortician – Chainsaw Dismemberment (1999)