Review Summary: An enjoyable entry that has a few misfires along the way.
Surprising to some over on Western shores, Crossfaith have three LP’s under their belts; the first two albums were a blend of Bullet for my Valentine style Metalcore and NU-Metal influenced electronics mixed with harsh screams and rapping. Despite the fact Crossfaith supported well established names like “Machine Head”, “In This Moment” and “August Burns Red” the band never really left much of an impression in the white noise of the music industry during this time. The bands 2012 released EP Zion
was, however, the beginning of a snowball effect for international success and for two reasons: Zion
contained a Prodigy cover of “Omen” which became a huge success and helped them get the foot in the door; the EP also amalgamated heavy Metalcore riffs with Dance style electronics sublimely, eventually getting them the genre tag “electronicore”. Being a fan of either genre, you could appreciate what these guys were doing; their songs were infectious, heavy, and chockfull of energy. The second reason – and something the band still strive at bettering today– is their insanely energetic live shows that quickly got them word-of-mouth in the UK, before the media frenzy that ensued not long after.
So after a heavy tour schedule around the world in 2012, the band quickly went into the studio to record their third full length LP Apocalypze
. The opening track “We Are The Future” shows signs of a good start, bringing all the key elements of their EP to the table: giant production, massive vocals, heavy drums and guitars that weave in and out of the epic electronic sections. The albums second track “Hounds Of The Apocalypse” holds the same fist pumping energy as the albums opener and you get a clear sense the band were writing songs to go with their well received live show. The band not only proves they have the ability to make songs that will tear the faces off anyone that goes to one of their live shows, but the production on this album brings a colossal energy that is not only impressive, but matches what they do live.
can’t hold its weight for long, and is a fairly inconsistent effort. The blending of styles becomes a little muddy and messy; tracks like “Eclipse” and “Scarlett” leave you wondering where they were trying to go with them: “Eclipse” has a weird reggae undertone in one section of the song, before shifting into an indie inspired build up part that leaves the track feeling more awkward than interesting; while “Scarlett” is one of the weaker links on here, primarily for being completely lost in what it’s doing. Starting off with a really nice 16-bit video game style key effect, while heavy guitars and harsh screams create a nice vibe, but just as the song is reaching its peak it hits an adamantium metal wall, everything is stripped back before the cue of a female singer doing her best to crush any potential the track once had with her generic rave melodies. What’s worse is once her part is over the song tries to build up once again, but she adds another contribution later on that just makes the song fall flat on its face for good. With her parts removed this song would have been one of the best songs on the album, but as it stands it just leaves the song limping.
The problem with Apocalypze
is the band doesn’t have the same happy medium they had on Zion
. Fans of Metal will be put off by the ideas on “Scarlett” and “Counting Stars”, while the same can be said for people that prefer the electronic style over the heavy sound. “Countdown To Hell” is the heaviest songs on the album, sounding heavily influenced by the likes of Slipknot – an absolutely relentless, savage beast and one that couldn’t appeal to anyone but a fan of Metal.
Taking preference to one side, the ideas on here just aren’t as fluid or as defined as they were on the EP; feeling more like two different puzzles being forced together. Sure, every track on the album holds some good ideas and is, for the most part, a solid and enjoyable listen, but a little more thought in the tracks compositions could have gone a long way. The band goes to the extremes, and throws you into the deep end of a certain genre at some point and it’s these moments that damage the LP; making it hard to see how any fan of one style could fully enjoy this album in its entirety. Though fans of the band will most certainly find something to enjoy on here, it makes for a bumpy listen all the same.