JOHN TRON DAVIDSON
If you're having a party and want it to go well, you might want to consider booking Crossfaith. Demolishing stages worldwide with their seemingly limitless enthusiasm, Japan's top festival-crushing band are back with the Wipeout EP, and while it will surprise no-one that it's three tracks of highly danceable pop-metal, the real movement is in the small stuff.
Crossfaith's earlier material was sonically sharpened to the point of exploding. Tracks like 'Monolith' and 'Devils' Party' were wound up to such a high tension that it almost put the listener at risk from their energy, and all the way back through ’Apocalyze’ and ’The Dream, The Space’ there's been an urgent, aggressive quality to the material. While firmly existing in the LET'S GO style for which they are known, Wipeout's three tracks have deepened the bands' sound, with a properly grinding bass tone and thicker, rounded snare resulting in a less exhausting, though no less dynamic listen.
The title track is ridiculous, it's 50-tries deep (according to the press release) armour-plated chorus almost needlessly correct. Yes, it's extremely poppy for heavy music and yes, the band have taken acres of metal stylings into the mainstream, but they're giving it the serious beans at all times, and that total dedication to making utterly engaging, shiny metalcore is what makes it work.
Plus, one gets the feeling that they don't care how absurd it is. There's no apologies whatsoever as 'Inside The Flames' forces you to leap about yelping or the daft-as-balls opening to 'Vermillion Gold' makes you smile like there's something wrong with you. What they've done is find a thing and hone it so tightly that it's hard to imagine going on after them no matter who you are or what you're doing. This is a completely fat-free release, containing three tracks of ground-bursting Japanese metalcore exclusively.
If you've picked up this record expecting anything other than what Crossfaith do you are a donkey, but it's how well they do that thing that makes it worth hearing. They've continued to evolve in subtle ways that make each record more focused and more engaging than the last, and if you're not digging it, well, I don't know what to tell you.
Inside The Flames
Kenta Koie – lead vocals
Kazuki Takemura – guitars
Terufumi Tamano – keyboards, programming, samples, vocals
Tatsuya Amano – drums, percussion
Hiroki Ikegawa – bass guitar
Check them out on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/crossfaithofficial