After forming the band (fuelled from their hatred of Japan’s enormous pop music culture) they released their first EP and subsequent pair of full-length’s (The Artificial Theory for the Dramatic Beauty and The Dream, The Space) all within the small space of a couple of years. They sparked a new movement through their aggressive but electronic- influenced style; something unheard of in their country. And now with the re-release of their 2012 EP, Zion under Search and Destroy in the UK/EU last week, vocalist Ken, guitarist Kazuki, bassist Hiro, programmer/keyboardist Teru and drummer Tatsu have got themselves a catalyst to explode into the big time. Alongside these massive up-and-coming tours also comes the news of an imminent full-length which is currently being shaped with Zion’s legendary producer ‘Machine’ (Suicide Silence, Miss May I, Chiodos).
Photo credit to Tom Barnes
Now despite their thick native tongue, all of Crossfaith’s lyrics are in English; something that’s undoubtedly aided them in their hugely successful translation, if you will, across the seas. However from the minute you hear the juggernaut that is opening track ‘Monolith’, all thoughts of their origin is put to the back of your mind. English language or not, this metallic force of nature speaks volumes with its pummelling double-kick beats, rapid chugging riffs and atmospheric bursts of synth. And already Ken demonstrates just how capable a frontman he is, spewing lyrics with the ferocity and strength of a pro in his element – “Now break away! Your weapons of hate will crush all the hearts that you’ve won” It makes me even more gutted to have missed their much talked about set at last year’s Vans Warped Tour in the UK, in which they destroyed the approx. 500 capacity Kevin Says stage.
WATCH // Crossfaith - 'Monolith'
Their electronic/dance influences are thoroughly spread throughout; in the subterranean ‘Photosphere’ its faster Pendulum-like style is clear underneath a destructive metal core. However ‘Jägerbomb’ goes straight for the jugular, emphasising more on the “beat-the-shit-out-you-metal” side of their character. It's party/tour video mash-up is essentially an awesome advertisement for the popular German tipple which is most recognised for its longstanding rock/metal scene sponsorship. The track throbs with earth-shattering breakdowns and glorious gang vocals that get you right in the party spirit. ‘Quasar’ sounds straight up like Slipknot married The Prodigy and an electronic-dance/heavy-metal demon was spawned.
WATCH // Crossfaith - 'Jägerbomb'
It’s a Godzilla sized number that keeps on attacking; its glitchy cum stomping attitude hitting like a ton of bricks. And when an epic breakdown unfolds around the two-minute mark, it takes it to a whole other level of awesomeness. A brief techno-infused instrumental ironically called ‘Dialogue’ follows, which immediately sprung to mind a certain 90’s combat game series called Mortal Kombat. Its almost cheesy euro-rave style, in any other place would be laughable but when put amongst the immense talent of the EP, I’d allow them this. Especially since it eventually becomes a more acceptable dubstep-altered, Skrillex cross-breed. And finally we’re given one more seeing to with ‘Leviathan’ – living up to its mythical sea monster source, it opens with a single clock chime before a groove-metal fiend is let loose.
Starting with a laboured trudging pace, it soon picks up speed and hostility with Tatsu’s immeasurable kit skill shining above all. There’s unusual almost timpani-like sounds underneath the relentless hardcore at one point but for that moment you’re a little surprised, you’re soon just enjoying it too much to think about whether that sound should have been there or not.; Crossfaith totally pummel you into submission. It’s a rock-solid close to the EP with an ending that leaves you wanting more by building and climaxing with both church-like choir and harsh gang vocals ringing out under Ken’s passionate screeches.
Zion is a mind-blowingly brilliant EP that perfectly introduces you into the brutally heavy, exciting and electronic-inspired world of Crossfaith. There's the potential for these Japanese stars to grow stratospherically huge and 2013 is the petri dish which will serve them as a means to cultivate their already forceful, multi-limbed metal life form. Prepare yourselves for the impending invasion. You have been warned.
Zion is out now
Worth Listening To...it all