Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Earth Crisis Proving They Still Have A Great Deal Of Thrashing To Do

Earth Crisis have been around and creating music on the hardcore scene for many years now. There are a lot of members of bands on the scene now who were still wearing training pants when these guys started creating music. Earth Crisis have been very influential to a lot of new bands, even while not obtaining the broad commercial success and acceptance of a band such as Hatebreed.

The guys emerged in the early 90s and their 1995 debut album Destroy the Machines put them on the map. They gained some mainstream attention for their vegan, straight edge life style along and views, with theses beliefs being spread through their music. The band were creating a buzz and gaining a loyal following with such killer releases as the epic Slither before disappearing in 2001. The guys reunited in 2007 and released their comeback album To the Death in 2009. The sound had evolved quite a bit from the early days in the 90s, but it was still Earth Crisis.

This brings us to their new album Neutralize the Threat and the current state of Earth Crisis. The song writing on this release takes a bit of a different approach for the band. The theme seems to be less of the vegan, straightedge vain and more about vigilantism with such pop culture figures as Bernard Goetz and Black Panther Flores Forbes being referenced. The album kicks off with “Raise”, although short in length at well under two minutes, its chugging bass line hooks you immediately.

Karl Buechner brings his “A game” to the table on this album. This guy is relentless on each and every track with his brutal, guttural growls. Speaking of brutality, even though it is here in abundance, the band seems to have maybe toned it down just a slight bit as heard on their 2009’s To the Death. This not necessarily a bad thing as it does help to keep the songs sounding fresh. The title track and “Total War” are excellent examples of this.

Erick Edwards and Scott Crouse definitely show no signs of rust after all this time. The riffs that they provide are in no short supply as they chug along from track to track, yet not sounding repetitious. Don’t you just hate when some of your favorite guitar slingers start to do that after playing for so many years? It’s not like the fans won’t notice that the riff on track two sounds just like the riff on track four.

The standout tracks on this album far outweigh the ones that fall short of knocking it out of the park. “Askari” may be the strongest track on here. The brutality and intensity is there along with the songwriting. The riffs are jarring and fresh. This track may get stuck on repeat until intensity splits your skull, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

There are so many bands around today who owe a lot of what they are doing to bands like Earth Crisis. A band should give credit where credit is due and in way too many instances it doesn’t happen. We learn from our past and we are influenced in many ways by our past. This band has deserved such props for some time now and hopefully Neutralize the Threat will help them get that respect. If it’s aggressive, skull crashing, intense hardcore that you want, I think you will be pleased by this new album. I am sure there will be some “old school” Earth Crisis fans that will yearn for the “good old days”, but bands learn and grow and mature with the times. Check it out and let the skull crushing begin!

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