Review Summary: Crossbearer's 2008 release was the clear maturation of their sound.
Crossbearer was one of the more powerful metalcore bands to come about over the past decade. Taking influences from melodic metalcore with societal commentary along the lines of Shai Hulud or extremely atmospheric post hardcore like Hopesfall, Crossbearer melded it into a sound somewhat distinct to themselves, but conventional enough to keep them from rising to the top of their scene. Transgressor
is the culmination of the sound they had been working toward their entire career: a powerful blend of metalcore and post-hardcore that contains nearly no breakdowns at all.
Comparisons are always tedious, but this is something along the lines of bands like Misery Signals, Era, and For The Fallen Dreams, but somehow more honest sounding. The lyrical content could be described as strongly atheist and misanthropic, as the majority of their material is a verbal assault on organized religion, and the hypocrisy of most beings currently in power:
"The death of the ghost in the machine brings the redefining of mind and being; and carries a sure consequence for man's freedom of will and all his knowledge both presuppose the fact of mental causes as matter in motion is enslaved to the laws of nature--cold and indifferent, deaf to our prayers, blind, mechanistic."
As you can see, unlike most bands of the sort, CB's lyrics are actually thought out and put to a manner that's both catchy and thought-provoking. The vocal delivery only augments this, as the vocals are very intense and relentless during hardcore segments up until their quite engaging melodic interludes.
This EP is a great example of the contrast between heavy and soft that plagues metalcore these days, but done right. Rather than going from the most metal part possible to the most sing songy clean chorus, these guys took their hardcore segments where they needed to go and built them into moving instrumental segments that make the works sound complete.