Oh boy. Today we’re returning to metalcore, seen as this genre has a lot to offer us this summer. Before we delve into ‘dem tunes, it’d be an insult not to mention that as a listener of an album that played over and over through speakers large and small, this music buff was constantly telling himself “Crossfaith. Crossfaith. Not just another mundane metalcore band. Crossfaith”. That’s the thing with metalcore we simply can’t wrap our heads around. It has its share of cool riffs and neat amalgamations, yet still manages to be the least interesting genre that uses heavily distorted low-tuned guitars out there.
So are the Japanese quintet one of those bands?? Well, let’s just say that there’s an underlying feeling with ‘Apocalyze’ that this has been done before. Hundreds of times. And sure, this band have their cute addition of keyboards and electronics, and even dubstep, in an attempt to separate themselves from the sheep, but it doesn’t work. This album is a flavourless compilation of mediocrity. It has a lot more interesting moments that Asking Alexandria’s new disc, but there’s nothing striking or innovative here.
It begins with a prelude. These are pretty good when they have meaning or purpose, but here it just feels like the build up of ‘We Are The Future’ separated from the rest of the song for the benefit of the short attention span of the audience. We’re not idiots, we know how to appreciate atmosphere. Then the album kicks off with an impressive opening riff, but there’s a strange lack of prominence that knocks it flat. The chorus and ending is a snoozefest, and aside from the dub breakdown there’s nothing exciting here.
From there it breaks into a promising clubmetal (this is hard to label, so respect to the band for that!) opening to ‘Hounds of Apocalypse’, before speeding into a wildly average metalcore pound. And…well, there really isn’t much to say here. It just makes you yearn for a better song. ‘Eclipse’ is a track you will listen to over and over, but only because you’re convinced you’ve heard an identical track before and can’t quite put your finger on what it is. A third of the way into this song there’s a toothless breakdown, and then it takes a turn for the tame, with, yep, you guessed it, a melodic interlude. Metalcore for you, eh?
We have to take a second to give our appreciation for the electronics. They’re actually very exciting, and have interesting moments. In the breakdown of ‘Eclipse’ there’s a three second moment that really does something for this listener. It’s unlike us to focus on how good the dubstep and electro moments are amidst everything else, but this is an instance where they well and truly overshadow the other instruments.
Then ‘The Evolution’ gets going. Wow, this must be the track we’ve been waiting for! A cool riff, an obscure instigation of head banging, and another decent breakdown. So yes, this one isn’t too bad, give it a shot. ‘Scarlett’ is another you might wanna check out, as is ‘Gala Hala’. In fact, definitely give the latter a listen, it’s got a couple of awesome moments! Hey, and what do you know, ‘Countdown To Hell’ is cool as f*ck! The aggression is powerful, and it doesn’t have any electronics mitigating the undisputable guitars. There are a couple of things that bothered us, such as the vocalist screaming “F*ck you” a second time in the opening (in case you didn’t get it the first time), but overall this segment of the album is damn good, this song being the peak of its fury.
Then ‘Deathwish’ comes along…and we’re back to square one. The distorted guitars are quiet, and parts of it sound identical to previous tracks. The final three are dull and forgettable. We’ve heard them many times now, and they’re still not staying with us. Our cue to leave things be.
So why haven’t we mentioned anything about the vocals? Well, that’s easy. Because they’re strikingly similar to so many metalcore bands that it’s not even worth it. They’re boring, lifeless, and toothless. Sure, there are screams and there is yelling, but there’s no aggression, and that pretty much sums metalcore up. It’s a dull immovable genre littered with bands that will soon be forgotten, and Crossfaith are one of them. There is much better stuff out there, don’t waste too much time with this.