Review Summary: Down, but not out.
There’s just no stopping some bands when it comes to their recording output. On the one hand you have a group like Tool who’ve teased their fanbase mercilessly with a meagre 4 albums in a near three-decade career; on the other, you get someone like Buckethead who bombards you with enough material for you to drown in it. So, what is the correct way of going about it" Honestly, I find both approaches to be a minority of extremes, and both sides have varying effects on their fanbase. But I can say, when an artist attempts the latter it tends to have more of a negative effect. With Crossfaith it’s been a funny old ride, which has brought out an ugly afterthought that these boys are flying by the seat of their pants. Since the release of their sophomore LP The Dream, The Space
in 2011, Crossfaith have fired out new material hereafter, gaining real recognition with their 2012 EP Zion
and then moving forward with a new LP or EP. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but the problem lies in that they’ve never really captured a sound that best represents them in all that time; awkwardly shifting from one sound to the other as their main framework and integrating an eclectic arsenal of styles, albeit ham-fisted at best. By the time we got to FREEDOM
last year, it was clear the band had completely used all their resources; an EP so egregious it was a little hard to process.
So, not even half a year later and we’re blessed with more material from the Japanese electronic-metalcore unit. As reluctant as I was in hitting the play button for this 3-track EP, I had a sick, sadistic level of interest in seeing if they’d recover from their last terrible mishap, and I’ll say right off the cuff, this is a much better offering than last time. Thankfully the band have brought on a much simpler level of song-writing, stripping back the electronics and awkward genre-melding ideas: metal is the focal point here and it mostly works. The strongest song here is “Inside the Flames,” finding its footing and utilising a heavier metalcore sound again; it’s nothing particularly special and isn’t different from anything we’ve heard from them previously, but Kenta manages to strike a little bit of gold with a really solid melody and hook to accommodate the body of the track. Speaking of which, Kenta’s English spoken singing isn’t anywhere near as obnoxious as it was previously. In fact, his vocal performance throughout is solid, bar a couple of awkward verse to chorus transitions that hear him shifting from harsh to clean vocals. All-in-all, he sounded like a man on form again, and because of that Wipeout
benefits massively from it.
Of course, the EP is still plagued in a few dumb lyrical lines, and the continuing trend of vocal chants is distracting at times, but it’s much easier to overlook this time around. The surprisingly savage “Vermillion Gold” is a welcoming sound for them, a sound I haven’t heard from them in a long while, and brings hope to my cynical heart that they aren’t out of the game just yet. If we’re approaching a new album this year or next, it’s going to be very interesting on which way it’ll go, because at this point I honestly don’t know anymore. Judging from this EP, it feels very much aware of its surroundings; its simplified structure has resulted in a sound reminiscent of Zion
, and sometimes it occasionally touches on the greatness of it. At this point all we can do is sit and wait to see what they pull out next, but I can say it’s going to be a very interesting one, good or bad.
EDITIONS: DIGITAL//C̶D̶//C̶D̶ ̶L̶T̶D̶ ̶E̶D̶
SPECIAL EDITION: The LTD ED comes with a remix of "FREEDOM," and a DVD featuring excerpts from their 10th anniversary tour.