36 Crazyfists is an odd duck of a metal band. Always have been. They were emo before it was cool within the genre and lumped in with metalcore when it wasn’t. Hell, I even sold my copy of their Roadrunner Records debut because I didn’t give it a chance the first time around but feverishly sought out another copy after a chance hearing of a song or two from that album on a random compilation.
As a band, though, they’ve continually been steadfast and undeniably metal through it all.
Listening to Lanterns, the seventh studio album from 36 Crazyfists, gave me the same kind of chills after the first time I heard my personal favorite A Snow Capped Romance all the way through and this album just gets better with every listen. The greatest 36 Crazyfists album to date? Possibly.
And how is that even a question when a song such as “Death Eater” barrels in to start off the album? The song is as brutal as it is brilliant and a fitting reminder of 36 Crazyfists’ continued relevance and visceral intensity. “Wars to Walk Away From” sees a sinister take on Brock Lindow’s unique vibrato which at times could be described as a heavy metal Raine Maida (Seriously, go listen to Our Lady Peace’s Naveed right now and tell me the similarities aren’t there)
“Damaged Under Sun” is a frenetic banger with Mick Whitney’s bass rumble at the forefront while “Where Revenge Ends” is a different beast altogether. Completely acoustic yet it sounds huge with a little country twang to remind listeners of Johnny Cash and his later albums.
Then “Sleepsick” brings listeners back to the heavy reality as this pummeling tune pile drives you over and over with Steve Holt’s riffs and Kyle Baltus’ thunderous drumming. Speaking of Holt, his wailing guitar solos amidst the maelstrom of “Laying Hands” is a true highlight on the album.
“Below The Graves” and “Better To Burn” sound like classic 36CF and could easily fit within the track listing of any of their previous albums. And that’s not to say either of those tracks are retreads of previous material just that both are prime examples of the perennial 36 Crazyfists songwriting style.
“Old Gold” just batters listeners on this penultimate track giving a definitive reminder of 36 Crazyfists collective power before “Dark Corners” solemnly closes the latest 36CF recorded chapter.
Lanterns is out through Spinefarm Records on September 29th. All your bundle needs can be met by clicking here while digital version options are available here. The band is currently opening for Devildriver and then go out on their own for s slew of headlining shows with a stop in Providence at Fete Music Hall on October 5th. For tix and show info, click here.