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Crust Punk is a form of hardcore punk that was born out of the English anarcho-punk movement in the mid-1980s with the bands Amebix and Antisect.

In its original form, crust punk (or simply crust) is very metallic, with strong elements of speed metal (Motörhead's style is noticeably present) and, more recently, extreme metal styles such as black and death metal.

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ICTUS Imperivm Album Cover Imperivm
4.53 | 5 ratings
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WOLFBRIGADE Damned Album Cover Damned
4.00 | 3 ratings
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EXTREME NOISE TERROR Retro-Bution Album Cover Retro-Bution
3.88 | 4 ratings
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AMEBIX Monolith Album Cover Monolith
3.75 | 5 ratings
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Descent Into Depression
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crust punk Music Reviews


Album · 2006 · Crust Punk
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siLLy puPPy
FALL OF EFRAFA formed in Brighton, England in 2005 with the clear intent of releasing a trilogy of albums that revolved around the mythology of the 1972 Richard Adams novel “Watership Down” and then disbanding and that’s exactly what this band of Neil Kingsbury (guitar), Steven McCusker (guitar), Mikey Douglas (bass), George Miles (drums) and Alex CF (vocals) did. The term EFRAFA in the novel refers to a rabbit colony ruled by a dictator who oppresses the rebellion through law enforcement which are called the OWSLA (means warrior or defender), which is also the title of the first album of the trilogy followed by “Elil” and Inlé.” These titles come form the Lapine language used in the novel. Yep, this is some serious nerding out going on here!

In the big scheme of the vast music universe, FALL OF EFRAFA is quite unique in its approach having primarily taken its influences from post-metal bands like Neurosis and Agalloch, post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and heavy caustic post-hardcore and crust punk thus making a bizarre blend of stylistic shifts from atmospheric arpeggiated post-rock segments to bleak bombastic crust punk swells teased out into atmospheric sludge metal orotundity. The vocal style of Alex CF is also unique in that if falls somewhere between the extreme shouting style of Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly and the more angry crust punk sort of shouts that often struggles to emerge from the bombastic guitar, bass and drum angst. A cello accompanies to add a sense of impending dread.

These albums narrate elaborate tales with OWSLA recounting a despotic leader who gives his people a false sense of empowerment to that he can swoop in at the last minute and crush them. OWSLA begins the trilogy by outlining the tale of an unarmed society that clings to dated beliefs and remains paralyzed by the inability to overcome these stilted anachronisms. The following “Elil” continues by narrating how those very beliefs result in an oppressive reign of religious indoctrination thus showcasing the band’s staunch atheism. The final chapter “Inlé” deals with hope in the face of death and how a society that has clung on to certain values for eons must overcome the rigidness as they face a do or die situation.

With chamber folk and crust punk elements crafting a greater sum of the parts, FALL OF EFRAFA crafts a unique sounding album that takes disparate musical elements and casts a unique magical spell as it tackles deep psychology that has permeated humankind since the beginning of time. While hilariously set in the context of a warren of rabbits, the subject matter hits close to home and paints the bleak picture of human mind control carried out through conditioning and religious doctrines. OWSLA is a satisfying slice of post-rockand atmospheric sludge metal with elements of crust punk and highly recommended especially for those who love elaborate storylines that allude to the plight of homo sapiens however this is certainly an all or nothing affair and once you check out one album you are pretty much committed to explore the whole trilogy which was released as a whole unit in 2010 with “The Warren of Snares” boxset.

AGONIA En Ruinas

Album · 2005 · Crust Punk
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siLLy puPPy
I just love bands from countries that pick up styles of music that aren’t native to their land and do things with them nobody else would. AGONÍA ( Agony ) is one of those unorthodox bands that formed in San Luis Potosí, México in the year 2000 and has released two albums since. The first was this debut EN RUINAS ( In Ruins ) which emerged in 2005 and the second came in 2011 titled “No Respiraremos el Aire Muerto ( We Will Not Breath The Dead Air ).

While not dishing out a wildly bizarre style of avant-garde metal or experimental rock, AGONÍA has been interesting in how it mixes elements of black metal, folk music, crust punk and even good old fashioned heavy metal into a steaming cauldron of explosive furor. This album of 13 tracks is only over 24 minutes long and is primarily classified as a form of crust punk for its brevity and directness that includes heavy distorted hardcore punk constructs and screamo style vocal shouts.

The black metal aspects are heard in the lo-fi production, filthy raw kvlt sounding guitar tones and overall bleakness. Folk melodies find their way into the mix as do unexpected anthemic 80s heavy metal musical scales. The contrasts are rather unique and although perhaps not the most bizarre out there nevertheless offer an interesting deviation from anything i’ve really experienced before. The art is in how seamlessly all these styles are forged together in a cauldron of molten metal until a new bastard is born.

While in stylistic regalia EN RUINAS comes off as a hardcore crust punk album for sure but in composition is quite a different beast and just off-kilter enough to get my attention. No punkiness was sacrificed to make room for the other elements on board and the lyrics are evil and Satanic ( in Spanish ) and the music perfectly exemplifies such horrific subject matter. A nice little discovery from the middle of central Mexico. The second album took the black metal punk thing even further with aspects of death metal so all i can say is that i like this band’s approach.

BEHÖLDER Die Hard In The Düngeon

EP · 2019 · Crust Punk
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New metal coming all the way from the northeast of Brazil in the city of Belem, BEHÖLDER tackles the interesting possibilities of mixing the caustic anarchic visions of crust punk with black metal elements. This band is fairly new and has only released this teaser of an EP in 2019.

DIE HARD IN THE DUNGEON is a short four track EP that only makes it over the 9 minute mark but in its brevity provides a blueprint for a future blackened crust punk sound that finds a lo-fi production job along with grinding riffs and cymbal-rich drumming frenzies of Helltyrant framing the tortured vocal style of Gatecrüsher who also plays guitar.

L. Grinder on bass has the perfect name for this band as it’s never quite clear if this is punk, black metal or grindcore. It’s uncomfortably in between. In all honesty, this is really nothing more than a modern demo released digitally but an interesting snapshot of a band’s early years from a part of the world that doesn’t crank out metal music. Promising but as it is, just OK.

AMEBIX Monolith

Album · 1987 · Crust Punk
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Amebix continue their experiments in blending hardcore punk and the most chaotic side of then-current extreme metal on Monolith. The end result sounds sufficiently close to proto-black metal to such an extent that Darkthrone's later dabblings in crust punk make perfect sense in retrospect, with enough thrash elements that it also sails slightly in the direction of crossover thrash. Perhaps the thing which stops Monolith from going full crossover is a certain sense of the epic - plenty of crossover thrash bands sing about the same subject matter as Amebix, but few give it this sense of awful spectacle that Amebix manage to.

ICTUS Imperivm

Album · 2007 · Crust Punk
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"Imperivm" is the debut full-length studio album by Spanish, Lugo, Galicia based hardcore/metalcore act Ictus. The album was released in 2007 through various smaller labels. It was recorded and mixed at Sadman Studios in April 2007. Ictus were formed in 2004 and have several minor releases under their belt.

"Imperivm" is a relatively unique release as it only features one single track. The track is 39:00 minutes long though, but this is not your "regular" doom metal monolith or progressive metal epic, which is usually the case with one track albums, but instead the music is a combination of aggressive hardcore and melodeath. This is what it would sound like if you mixed Converge with early In Flames and sprinkled a little Burst over it, and then created an album length track out of the stew.

"Imperivm" is predominantly a fast-paced affair, with frenetic D-beat drumming, fast melodic guitar riffs, and a raw screaming hardcore vocalist in front. Ictus do take the pace down a couple of times during the album´s playing time, and around 16 minutes in there´s even a short atmospheric clean guitar section, and around the 25 minute mark there is a heavy mid-paced section, but the music is generally pretty one-dimensionally fast-paced.

The lack of variation becomes a bit of an issue after a while, and you begin to long for those few and far between heavy or atmospheric sections. When that is said "Imperivm" is a both well played and well produced album, and the overall quality of the songwriting is also of a good quality, so it´s only the lack of variation that´s an issue, and I´m not even sure it would have been much of an issue if the long track had been divided into shorter tracks. It might have been easier to handle then. As it is "Imperivm" is still a rather interesting release, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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