Earth Caller – Crystal Death


Artist

Album

Crystal Death

Label

eOne Entertainment

Year

2018

For Fans Of

Parkway Drive, Deez Nuts, Stick To Your Guns

Summary

613, represent.

Rating

80 / 100

I have a lot of love for Earth Caller’s debut record, 2015’s ‘Degenerate‘. It had the riffs, the breakdowns, the mosh parts, the hooks, the melodies and the pit-calls situated in just all of the right places to make a real impact. Which for me also made it one very solid record and one that I still stand by now in 2018.

Now, while definitely not a change of pace but more of a change of tone, Earth Caller’s music now has its crosshairs turned inward on their own vocalist as the Melbourne outfit fully becomes ‘The Josh Collard Experience’ despite them now having their best lineup so far. And while it’s a very similar record to the band’s preceding full-length – like, come on people, let’s not pretend – it’s this lyrical honesty and deeper personal introspection that supplies ‘Crystal Death‘ with a few extra lives as well as the added kick that it (earth) called; making it yet another solid record from these 613 mosh lords

See, the lyrics here are pulled from the lowest lows and the worst of worst moments from the frontman’s life over the past few years. Meaning that you’ll hear many personal demons being exposed over the course of these 11 new tunes; songs about betrayal, love loss, making some royal fuck-ups, self-doubt, depression, and even hints of substance abuse. Thankfully, instead of following that dark path all the way down to the end, Collard reached that metaphorical fork in the road and he chose the light, channelling all of the awful shit in his personal life into his music in the process. Which is why you’ll find these pained, bittersweet but still hopeful and melodic songs like ‘Fall‘, ‘May 16th‘, ‘Never In Never Around‘, ‘A Ghost‘ and ‘Dying Beside You‘ (which lyrically references Comeback Kid’s absolute banger, ‘Somewhere in this Miserable‘ for extra brownie points); songs with those always difficult moments of relationships ending. And it’s this selection of songs, along with the record’s heartfelt closer ‘Hold On‘, that stand the tallest and proudest of the LP’s track listing.

Of course, those hype tunes a la opener ‘Pipe Dreams‘ and call-out hardcore songs like ‘Exposed‘ (written an ex-bandmate who tried to severely dog the boys by extorting them after leaving) will most likely always be present in the band’s music. And sure, there’ll probably always be those political-veiled topics found on an Earth Caller release (here, it’s the third song, ‘No Forgiveness‘) as that’s a topic close to the outspoken Collard’s heart. However, it’s because of the personal expose that both the frontman and Earth Caller as a band have put forward here that is what solidifies ‘Crystal Death‘ as a much stronger release in the long run.

And interestingly enough, due to the deeply personal origins of these 11 tracks, everything on ‘Crystal Death‘ sees the varying extremes of Earth Caller’s heavy, more-metalcore-than-hardcore music become even more amplified. Seriously, the heavier and lighter elements of their sound have been given a real kick in the ass. For instance, Collard’s screams are far more bitter and aggressive, his clean singing is more prevalent, the riffs and chugs hit harder than ever before, the melodic lead guitar work is arguably the band’s best yet, the breakdowns are bigger, and the choruses are more driven and hook-laden than ever before. It’s Earth Caller, just loaded up on some heavy steroids.

Also, let me just call an obvious spade an obvious spade for a quick second here and state that yes, Earth Caller’s music sure isn’t overly technical nor that complex; it’s layered if rather still simple stuff as far as hardcore and metalcore go. But goddamnit, does the band make that shit work so bloody well! That went for ‘Degenerate‘ and that goes double for ‘Crystal Death‘. So go on, get around it.

Conclusion

Earth to Earth Caller: cheers for the solid new record, boys, keep ’em coming down. Chuch!

Tracklisting

  1. Pipe Dreams
  2. Sucka
  3. No Forgiveness
  4. Exposed
  5. Dying Beside You
  6. Never In Never Around
  7. A Ghost
  8. Fall (feat. Sophie Jest)
  9. Mirror
  10. May 16th
  11. Hold On (feat. Taylor Paige

‘Crystal Death’ is out now via eOne Entertainment.  

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