Starkweather
Crossbearer


4.5
superb

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
July 13th, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Metalcore's roots seem to have grown into an entirely different beast over the years, Starkweather marking a vital part of the early beginnings of the confused genre.

A band that have gone largely unnoticed despite their massive influence on the Metalcore scene, Starkweather were one of the first bands to successfully merge the best of both Hardcore and Metal into one amalgam. Though guitarist Todd Forkin has likened pioneering Metalcore to spreading cancer, there is no doubt of their influence on the movement, especially their influence on a young Jacob Bannon, now of beloved Metalcore superstars Converge. In 1992, Starkweather’s bold debut album Crossbearer hit the streets.

Here you will find none of the generic preliminary requirements that plague many modern Metalcore bands today. This album is heavy, it’s slow, it’s sludgy, it’s Punk, it’s Metal. The vocal styling of Rennie Resmini ranges anywhere from harsh screams, to slow, drawn-out croons that can curdle blood. Here, Starkweather have seemed to combine the raw anger of Crust Punk and Hardcore with Heavy Metal, Sludge and Doom. It’s an unexpected venture for what is usually seen in your run-of-the-mill Metalcore, but then again, this isn’t generic. Starkweather’s influences range anywhere from Sinéad O’Connor, to Björk, to Swans, Dream Theater, Atheist and Fates Warning. Small elements from all their influences can be found scattered throughout this record, whilst sticking true to its Hardcore and Metal roots.

Unlike Hardcore or Punk in general, this album contains hefty songs. Songs generally ranging from five to ten minutes in length is a far stretch from most Hardcore predecessors who keeps songs around the one to two minute mark. You can feel this is where their love of Metal can be found in their longer compositions and lack of traditional song structure. The band have created an album that is dissonant, it’s dense, it’s abrasive. There are thick, chugging guitars over heavy, pounding basslines, all tied together with Rennie’s fantastic vocal work. The band have many ideas at play here and they aren’t afraid to experiment. At some points you can heavily notice the influence on bands like Converge, most prominently on songs like Shards/Unto Me where the song occasionally segues into small melodic passages with some eerie clean vocals, in which I made a direct connection with Converge’s song Albatross.

The band have fantastic drummer at work on this record, his often-tribal beats complimenting the bass and Rennie’s vocals. It’s actually kind of staggering identifying all the ideas and influences being undertaken here, and funnily enough it works. In songs like Above the Rafters I can even notice a minor Eastern influence, then later on the song plays out like a 70’s Heavy Metal ballad. Maybe that’s taking it too far, but that’s the best way I can describe it.

Genuine creativity, emotion and musicianship all came together to craft this fantastic debut from a rather (sadly) underground band. For any lover of music in general, this album brought new ideas to the table and executed them perfectly. Over the album’s one-hour run time, you won’t easily find yourself bored. It’s an engaging, full listen that surprises you right up to the last track.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
July 13th 2012


12163 Comments


Not too sure how I feel about this review. Feedback?

Dimor
July 13th 2012


1835 Comments


.....





Pos though

MichaelSnoxall
July 13th 2012


12163 Comments


I am unsure about what your extended ellipses means. Thanks you for the pos.

Dimor
July 13th 2012


1835 Comments


Don't worry. I just hate MethulChOrEZ.

But good review.

MichaelSnoxall
July 13th 2012


12163 Comments


I recommend giving this a listen anyway, not what you'd expect. I know it may not have sounded like it in the review, but these guys are very different to Converge too.

MichaelSnoxall
July 13th 2012


12163 Comments


bump

ILikeYoyos1
July 13th 2012


84 Comments


These guys make music for themselves and I really have to respect them for it. Haven't listened to this but starkweather's most recent album was not for me so I doubt I'll be checking it out. Good review

Owantjaaaa
July 13th 2012


3408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, have not listened to this in a while.
Also; pos

Digging: Sick/Tired - Dissolution

MichaelSnoxall
July 14th 2012


12163 Comments


Yeah, their newest album sounds like a more aggressive version of this. If you didn't like that, then I doubt this'll be you thing.

MichaelSnoxall
July 14th 2012


12163 Comments


ignore this.

demigod!
September 20th 2013


45267 Comments


thrashymetalcore

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality



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