Review Summary: An old straightedge hardcore record and one of my favorite heavy records made.
One of the first heavy bands I’ve ever gotten into was Earth Crisis, an American hardcore band notorious for supporting the straightedge/ vegan lifestyle as well as P.E.T.A and animal rights. When I was younger, I was a very angry and impressionable youth so as I was busy trying to beat all my friends in Mario Kart 64 and Golden Eye I couldn’t help but notice a thunderous boom reverberating throughout my house. I found out that it was my brothers band practicing for an upcoming local show in our garage and needless to say, this occurred almost every day after that. Before metal and hardcore, I was already a pretty aggressive child determined to win in every sport and video game I played. Unfortunately, I was always a sore loser and hated losing more than anything, resulting in thrown objects, busted mailboxes and daily scraps so it goes hand in hand when I say this, that heavy music, regardless of tag, will always be my first love. I now had the soundtrack for my daily angst ridden youth.
One day I noticed my brother had left his CD case out which was full of a ton of older metal and hardcore records which I began to play in my room. Bands like Cro-Mags, Snapcase, Pantera, Crowbar, Sepultura, and Integrity got me ecstatic with this new found style of music at the time, far from my MTV cravings at the time but Earth Crisis was the band that stood out to me the most. I found Gomorrah’s Season Ends, the bands second full length album and although I was too young to care about lyrics, I loved the vocals. Karl Buechner wasn’t exactly the greatest or most unique vocalist in the world, but what he lacked in actual talent or diversity, quickly made up in blistering rage and compelling emotional outbursts that hit home to me instantly. In terms of vocal performances in hardcore, I’d say that this would be one to beat because if you can imagine a man past the edge of sanity and tearing his vocal chords without a care in the world, you might have an idea of what to expect. The lyrics is the last part of the band I had to familiarize myself with and although the lyrics bark to a near militant extent of douchebaggery, some of the lyrics stood out to me a clear and precise manner. “Morality Dictates” is a rip roaring number based on the horrors that take place in meat industries and while somewhat already familiar to this due to family interest towards the cause I felt compelled recite the lyrics on a daily basis. I as well as the band have searched for an alternative lifestyle, one that is far from the obesity ridden depths of modern American society. This record as well as my self realization that the unhealthy, commercially misleading nourishment that, well, is considered nourishment by the government was getting me nowhere and instead made me feel weak and sluggish .I made a change to live and eat healthier for my own benefit as well as trying to help open peoples minds without trying to come off as a militant dick.
Now we know I love the vocal aspect of the but the guitars played a pivotal role in bringing out my angst with a flurry of unrelenting breakdowns and punching grooves. I really love the guitar tone of the album, slightly murky, but always heavy and most important catchy. Earth Crisis shows a love of thrash and early hardcore influence as both styles form the foundation of Kris and Scott’s playing. The title track has such an infectious groove, that Pantera should be proud of the band for Earth Crisis paying an ode to the masters of the groove. In a sense actually it makes sense that Gomorrah’s Season Ends could be considered an early metal core album but I’ll let others decide for themselves. Re-listening to this album I noticed several departments that I have missed over the years, most notably the bass. Now when to comes to the bass guitar, I want to hear the bassist playing like a real musician, in front and stringing his/her axe wildly like a madman instead of sitting back for the guitarists to shine. Ian Edwards is a great bassist, slapping up a storm of tapping lines that not only follow the guitar but sound great. Now the drumming is my least favorite part about the album but not because it’s bad, just because it doesn’t stand out to me the same way the other instruments did. Dennis Merrick is a pretty good drummer, displaying his talents around a slow to mid pace with numerous fills and double bass patterns. Nothing incredible to write home about but competent playing at that.
The album has 9 tracks with it just almost hitting the 37 minute mark and although diversity isn’t really a word I’d use to describe a record like this, I still recommend this for fans of heavy music. The production for the record, done almost 13 years ago, has a sludgy vibe to it but fitting regardless. Instrumentation and vocals are all loud and clear, nothing is left out, and everything that makes this record great stands out to the producers. I have really no complaints about Gomorrah’s Season Ends but sure, this album might reek in nostalgia but my opinion for this album hasn’t changed since day one. One of my favorite and most influential metal/hardcore albums to date and Once again I urge people to give this a spin.