Review Summary: The Crinn craft an enjoyable and promising effort that combines spacious, intense, and technical aspects, but is hindered by poor songwriting throughout.8 of 9 thought this review was well written
Since their formation in 2005, The Crinn have been notorious for their musical progression from an outfit who utilized extreme stylistic shifts into one that learned to create a genre almost apart from its metalcore roots. Their eponymous EP fused mind-jarring technicality with irrational jazz tactics, proving to be more than a fun release. In fact, it was intelligently-crafted, combining an intricacy that critics adore with accessible songwriting. Instead of following the path of choppy intensity, The Crinn
showed the almost coherent and smooth sound of a relatively under appreciated talent. Sure, pauses increased The Crinn
’s frenetic nature, but still the band had crafted a work of fluency and eclecticism. Their complex jazz affinity was incorporated with a mathcore style so that neither element undermined the other. In fact, each component of said EP seemed to be a part of the next rather than alone and apart. On Dreaming Saturn
, the band’s full-length debut, this style is approached in a more haunting and grandiose way that notarizes the band’s ethos: challenge conventions.
However, this does not mean that Dreaming Saturn
isn’t relevant - far from it. Rather than taking the route of faux-exoticism or being entirely unapproachable, The Crinn’s latest and greatest is one that defies boundaries in a way that any fan of mathcore can cash in on. The Crinn’s knack for cramming as many notes together in a song produces a maelstrom, yes; however, the band’s seamless flow is undeniable, though mind-boggling. Sure, pauses are not the most conventional segues, but again, The Crinn challenges conventions. By using these pauses, the band gradually leads the listener to the next bout of inanity. For example, opener “Incipience” is a track that escalates in terms of technicality and intensity, eventually crescendoing into a scene of sonic slaughter. From then on out, the band toy with jazz syncopation and almost futuristic lyrics. Of course, Dreaming Saturn
is frantic with irrational time signatures abound. But it is this progressive technicality that brings the album to the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows.
Unfortunately, because The Crinn seems to be so invested in technicality, they seem to have forgotten some aspects of songwriting. This is the case for tracks like “Meat Eating Machines” and “Cathartic Insurrection,” two tracks which are simply meandrous bursts of angular aggression. Yet the effect of these forgettable bursts of intensity are almost canceled out by the fantastic additions of “Anaphylactic Shock” and “Voluptuous Eruptions.” These two tracks are fleshed out displays of The Crinn’s most progressive ideas, utilizing lush instrumentation and obvious jazz attributes as much as the band’s signature mathcore twang. The Crinn have also become fond of ethereal passages, as evidenced by the album’s closer, “Down In Waves.” By basing itself off near-excruciating lulls, this atmospheric closer is far detached from most of the familiar, as is the denouement, “Lucid Dream Field.” Yet, these somber inclusions never shadow the band’s more frenetic and dissonant style. With musical proficiency abound, The Crinn have proven themselves as a new force in the mathcore scene. And with time and practice, their skill could be transformed into a classic album. But for now, we have Dreaming Saturn
, which, although flawed, still kicks a lot of a
Austin Tracey (me)
Originally posted on reviewrinserepat.com