In 2015, we listed Crywolf’s Cataclasm as our #10 album of the year. While at the end of our Top 10 list, it was still no small feat as 2015 had a huge amount of stellar albums up for consideration. Cataclasm was an absolute breakthrough album for Crywolf, and we called it a perfect album for the “post-EDM” era. However, even then, Crywolf’s newest work gives Cataclasm a run for its money.
Skeletons was officially released last week, featuring many of the core components of Crywolf’s sound: wispy vocals, live instrumentation, heavy distortion and use of effects, and swelling melodies. What makes Skeletons so much more vulnerable is definitely the story behind the release.
The first time I saw a real human skeleton I felt a very peculiar sadness and shock inside of myself. It wasn’t a reaction to the bones themselves, but to what had once covered them; the strength, beauty, and complexity they had once supported. An entire world had once rested in that skull. How much love, pain, happiness and grief had that frame supported?
As an artist sometimes you write about presence, and other times, absence. You use lyrics and music to run your finger around the shape left by something lost. This EP is negative space. It’s the frame supporting something that should be there, but simply isn’t. A harsh reminder of what once was; of an unchangeable breach in the order of things. Biting, but necessary.
This is my sackcloth and ashes. This is my 7 stages all wrapped up into one. I didn’t want to put most of these songs out. They all feel excruciatingly vulnerable. However, I decided I’d rather end my life pinned down, splayed out on a dissecting table than be stored away in formaldehyde, buried with my secrets.
In addition to the obvious connotations contained in the EP, each individual track is its own neatly wrapped masterpiece given to listeners with dripping sweat and tears. With the previously released singles, “Quantum Immortality,” “Weight,” and “Windswept,” listeners were given but a taste of what to expect. But this is more than just an EDM work; it’s infinitely deeper and more complex than anything else being put out these days.
With that being said, I can do nothing more but encourage you to drop what you’re doing and put on your favorite pair of headphones, and just listen to Skeletons with no distractions.
Photo via Dustin Alexander Thornton