Crossfaith
Ex_Machina


1.0
awful

Review

by Simon.K CONTRIBUTOR (208 Reviews)
August 4th, 2018 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They're going to need a Deus Ex Machina to survive this album's problems.

If the past year has proven anything about Crossfaith, it’s that they’re lost. They’ve always been very open to experimentation, but the last two EPs hit with such polarizing results it left me at a complete loss on what to expect next. So, let’s cut to the chase; Freedom is a sloppy mix of EDM and metalcore, made worse by its awareness for the fashionable tropes in metal at the minute. It was a startling shock to the systems, to go from the enjoyably flawed albums of Apocalyze and Xeno to the blatantly desperate and egregious songwriting of Freedom. It mixed peculiar ideas with genres but put no effort into ensuring these stark tones worked in harmony. Basically, it was a mess by all accounts and I nearly wrote them off because of it. But then they come back 6 months later with a focused, back to basics EP that resurrected the hallmarks of what made Crossfaith so enjoyable to begin with, leaving me to question if the game was really up or not.

The ambivalence I felt leading up to this saw me entering the pitch darkness with nothing but apprehension, now aware it could go either way at a moment’s notice. And, you know, with the exception of the incredibly corny “Deus Ex Machina” – a failed attempt at delivering a grandiose introduction with its generic dance beats and badly performed narrator, whose voice sounds like it came from the Time Crisis arcade machines – the first quarter of Ex_Machina sets off half-focused and somewhat promising. Sure, Kenta’s haphazard cleans on “Catastrophe” persist in shattering any able vibes, while “Destroy” holds the same kind of risked pleasantries dunking a biscuit into your cup of tea can have; providing a rudimentary metalcore riff and variant screams it gets everything off to a good start, but the moment H09909 enters the fray it turns into that dire situation where the dipped end of your biscuit breaks away into the bottom of your cup, souring the entire experience. Still, in terms of what’s to come these songs hold a couple of redeeming qualities, while “The Perfect Nightmare” – the strongest number here – offers up a nice chaotic homage to Slipknot’s earlier works.

It’s ironic then, that we have to get to “Freedom” for the album to completely fall apart. The rest of the record is a hodgepodge of broken ideas being stitched together. Like the writing for Freedom, Ex_Machina regards consistency, tone and mood as dirty words. The only consistency to be found here is in the numerous archaic and cheesy ideas plaguing songs. I found myself grimacing constantly at the amount of terribly thought out and dated stylistic choices. “Make A Move” is one of the most obnoxious tracks here, opening with Kenta crooning “make a move” in a robotic voice that sounds as though Crossfaith is trapped in the late 90s NU-metal era. The horror endures with a progression of comically out of place funk grooves, high-frequency electronics zipping up and down and Kenta spitting out a painfully rigid rap verse – not forgetting the stapled, characterless clean chorus that accommodates this abomination. The album has a delusional handling on its ideas, but its difficulty in digesting them primarily stems from its pick of common denominator tropes that were hated as far back as when they were first conceived. It’s made that much worse when apathy takes hold and it turns into a lazy exercise of forcing these horrible sounds together, regardless of whether they work together or not.

I mean, you’d think it couldn’t get much worse but when you get to “Lost In You” or “Milestone” you realise just how low these guys are setting the bar: the former being one of the worst pop-punk renditions I’ve ever heard, made completely disagreeable with Kenta’s iffy diction and pronunciations, resulting in a laughing act; while the latter falls into your piss-poor, cookie-cutter post-hardcore territories – the type of soppy, glittery soundscapes contemporary metal acts have been dipping into for a while now. Truthfully, things don’t get any better: the halfway mark is a point of no return, shifting from its “electronicore” roots to subject the listener to all manner of badly administrated fads and previous successes. When I reviewed the Wipeout EP I was put into thinking they could come back from Freedom, and that it was just a colossal misfire, but it seems Crossfaith took their chances and made an unimaginably dreadful follow-up. This is debatably the worst metal album of the year. It has the attention span of a goldfish, constantly shifting from one awful idea to the next, but it also lacks the skill to implement these newer ideas into feeling earned and natural, making it a detriment to the core sound that actually works. If this is the sound of the future, we’ve all got serious problems.

AVOID.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: http://crossfaith.jp/overseas/



Recent reviews by this author
Slaves (UK) Acts of Fear and LoveIglooghost Clear Tamei
Akira Yamaoka Silent Hill OriginsOtep Kult 45
Spaceslug Eye the TideScars on Broadway Dictator
user ratings (31)
Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
Willow Westervelt (3.5)
Very well done, but they can do better....

related reviews

Xeno

Zion

Freedom

Apocalyze


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I feel dirty for writing so many bad reviews lately, but I never expected to hate this as much as I did. Give me Scars on Broadway's or Otep's new album over this any day of the week. ugh..





Digging: Iglooghost - Clear Tamei

decisions
August 4th 2018


203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmmm, not a bad review I mean I feel like you supported your opinion pretty well. But a 1? No way this is a 1.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I have to respectfully disagree. This was a painful, painful listen. And I can assure you, it only gets worse the more times you listen to it. I was ready to bin the computer by my tenth spin.

Ebola
August 4th 2018


3216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was sort of looking forward to this after hearing The Perfect Nightmare, but I’m troubled to hear that it’s the best thing here. Consider my expectations lowered. Not sure when I’m gonna get around to listening to this

Digging: Leprous - Malina

ItsTheSquirrel
August 4th 2018


4 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Very good review, sums up my toughts really well.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I look forward to your views on it Ebola. I really enjoyed Wipeout's EP tracks and was hoping they'd focus on that sound, but they've obviously focused more on Freedom's sound. Honestly, I can't think of a worse outcome for how this turned out.



Thanks Squirrel.

ItsTheSquirrel
August 4th 2018


4 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I just finished the album and Faint's chorus is SO horrible Chester Bennington imitation.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Yeah, the "Faint" cover is terrible. I couldn't work out if it was a sample or an imitation -- or both.

Mabbitt
August 4th 2018


1632 Comments


I can't say this is unexpected, but it's disappointing.

By the way, lots of people have compared Masato's (the guy singing Faint's chorus) voice to Chester's, so I kind of have a feeling that he wasn't really even trying that hard to imitate him.

decisions
August 4th 2018


203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A 1? This isn't a great record by any means, but the band displays great musicianship on all fronts at certain points. The production is clean and full, really allowing the guitars and vocals to sound colossal and heavy as they are clearly intended to. Some of the riffs on here are pretty good, like on Daybreak and Perfect Nightmare. Kenta Koie could be one of the most talented guttural vocalists ever. I actually like the chorus vocal melody of Lost In You - sure the song isn't very memorable ultimately, but you talk about it like some kind of atrocity when it's real issue is mediocrity. Sure, overall the level of composition is low, but the album does have some redeeming qualities.



To me, a 1 has no redeeming qualities. It feels dishonest and insipid - it is a failure at conveying anything to its listeners at any point. This album is not that. Falling In Reverse's Fashionably Late is a fucking 1. An album that feels haphazard, unfocused, and has moments of atrocity (like Freedom) is not a 1 for me.



Like I said I feel like you have given adequate support for you opinion so I understand it to a degree. However, I would never give a 1 to a band who communicates to me that they tried and failed when the industry is dominated by people who don't try at all.

ItsTheSquirrel
August 4th 2018


4 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

What they tried was to go mainstream which I don't think is a redeeming quality rather than one of the problems.

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2018


1621 Comments


"EDM and Metalcore"
Yo, these guys are trying to take snide's sput clout...

Digging: Homostupids - The Load

Darius
August 4th 2018


17098 Comments


LOL

Good rev gonzo, rating prob accurate

bloc
August 4th 2018


51329 Comments


Never liked this band but wow I had to hear that cover of Faint. Man the vocals are almost a carbon copy. Can't tell if I should be impressed or not haha.

Digging: Karate High School - The League Of Tomorrow

ShadowNeko
August 4th 2018


143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@decisions

I agree. These people are so goddamn hard to please...

There's at least 5 killer tracks on this album. It's not all shit lmao.

BlackMalachite
August 4th 2018


3712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review; but holy fuck this album ripped me a new asshole.

Digging: As It Is - The Great Depression

Cris13Sic
August 5th 2018


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is great! Everyone on this site is so negative!

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Thanks guys, appreciated.



@Decision



"Kenta Koie could be one of the most talented guttural vocalists ever."



You know, I'm inclined to agree with you. And one of the biggest problems here is that he seldom uses that quality. The album is instead littered with awful rap sections and shoehorned flat singing.



This isn't the Crossfaith I saw promise in. It's yet another band trying to draw in as many heads as they can. Loads of pseudo practices are shoved into the album and it painfully shows. Lyrics (which I don't focus on here) have never been a great strength for the band, but succumb to an even bigger drop in quality here. As you've said, the level of skill involved with their compositions is paltry to begin with, but they've made it worse by adding these horribly out of place guest spots or you have them trying out the latest "it" sound for their songs. "Lost In You" and "Milestone" really are complete disasters imo, and they showcase everything that is wrong with this record. And when it's not using these things it's utilising the worst aspects of NU-metal.



I'm not the type of dude that dishes out a 1 for no reason, it has to really get a rise out of me and stay with me for the duration, and that's exactly what this does. I mean, you said it yourself: "To me, a 1 has no redeeming qualities. It feels dishonest and insipid - it is a failure at conveying anything to its listeners at any point." That is the LP in a nutshell. It might not be Falling In Reverse levels of awfulness, but it's a different kind of "bad". It lacks the fundamental roots that made the previous albums fun and enjoyable. But the shoehorning of the aforementioned problems just makes it a complete failure in my eyes and is devoid of what made them appealing in the first place.



Ebola
August 5th 2018


3216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, this is a mess. There’s a really gross nu metal vibe that I don’t really remember hearing in the previous stuff

When the rapper came in with that “yes yes” on Freedom I lost my shit

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

haha yeah it's absolutely bogging.



they've always welcomed NU-metal into their music, but it wasn't as ham-fisted as it is here. Honestly, the Zion EP got everything they're about perfectly. Everything past that does a decent job of moving them forward, with varying degrees of problems, but they outright dropped the ball here.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy