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Typically, any metal/rock music that comes out of Japan is, in a word, awesome. What makes it so awesome is that they constantly inject more obscure elements into the mix than is commonly heard in Western music. What results is somewhat of an alternate take on genres we know and love, and Crossfaith‘s new album ‘Apocalyze’ is no exception. While not as outlandish and attention-grabbing as other J-metal acts (*cough*Maximum the Hormone*cough*), it’s a really fun album all the same.
From start to finish, ‘Apocalyze’ is an intense experience in every aspect. Not only that, but the songs feel well thought-out, too. If there’s a dubstep-infused section it sounds like the band has considered the best way it can accompany the music, rather than just having thrown it in because they can. There’s also a couple of tracks that feature some female vocal parts that sound absolutely sublime. It’s nice to hear a release of this calibre where you can tell that things have been carefully planned out and polished. Speaking of polished, the production quality is top-notch thanks to legendary producer ‘Machine’, who’s worked with such bands as Lamb of God, Every Time I Die and Clutch to name a few.
As for the technical side of things, the band is tight and well-rehearsed. Some of the riffs are absolute face-melters. Others are less inspired, but all are appropriate and sound brilliant. The drumming is just as frantic and contains some terrific beats and fills. Vocalist Kenta Koie keeps up the energy with a style that is both aggressive as hell and perfectly refined at once. The clean vocal sections are less impressive, but they are few and far between. The electronic elements vary from simple sustained chord accompaniments to striking melodies that demand attention. And of course, a few dubstep parts for good measure.
All in all, a fantastic effort from Crossfaith. If you like your metal with a healthy dose of electronic music, ‘Apocalyze’ will keep you satisfied for a long time. And even if you don’t, give it a listen anyway because it might just change your mind.
Crossfaith’s brand of metal fused with electronic elements is an effective mix, and one that isn’t too overdone that is just becomes a mess. ‘Apocalyze’ hits that perfect ratio, creating a hybrid of sound that may not be fresh or unique but is easily enjoyable. What sets this album apart from others in the genre are refreshing and innovative ideas and some killer riffs that will keep you coming back over and over.
2. We Are the Future
3. Hounds of the Apocalypse
5. The Evolution
7. Gala Hala (Burn Down the Floor)
8. Countdown to Hell
10. Counting Stars
11. Burning White
12. Only the Wise Can Control Our Eyes