Starting off 2018 as loud as possible, Earth Caller return with a vicious slab of metal that totally encapsulates the old school NYHC sound that made bands like Biohazard and Life Of Agony stand out in the mid-’90’s. On Crystal Death, the Melbourne metallers channel hardcore greats by concocting something to honor that sound yet take it light years ahead.
“Pipe Dreams” is, quite simply, a call to arms. Raging against the machine as Josh Collard’s gruff voice cries out with an unrelenting cadence building to potent lines like “I know what it means to die and I know what it means to live”. Similar to Chimaira at their brutal beginnings sans the keyboards or Killswitch Engage’s brand of positivity amongst metal fury, Earth Caller’s style of heavy is laid out within this unbridled headbanger of an opener that happens to have the sickest breakdown to conclude it. Did we already mention that this is just the first track? Cuz it is, so strap in!
“Sucka” is unrelenting from the get go with Zac Noble and Blake Drenth switching between eerie atmospheric riffing and razor sharp shredding while “No Forgiveness” goes for the social justice jugular with those haunting guitars permeating as Collard fights the power with his words.
As Crystal Death continues, the breakdowns get even bigger (“Exposed”) and the songs get even heavier (“Never In Never Around”) but if you want the heaviest aspect of the album then be sure to pay attention to Collard’s lyrics which follow Degenerate as the vocalist uses this platform to bring notice to everyday problems and issues facing society on the regular.
Whether it’s having hope when all hope seems lost (“Hold On” with Taylar Paige) or tackling messy break ups (“Fall” featuring Sophie Jest) or even larger issues such as government corruption (The aforementioned “No Forgiveness”), Collard has something to say and the rest of Earth Caller provide the perfect soundtrack.
Of course, Crystal Death works perfectly fine as “just” a metal album if you choose to ignore the message (But really, why would ya?). Tracks like “Mirror” might let up tempo-wise but are just as searing with Luke Weber’s fills and staccato hits keeping the potency up throughout the song and album. “A Ghost” is another like “Mirror” that has an anthem quality with this huge chorus that swells to the coolest gang vocals and also features the quietest moment on the album accompanied by Justin Murphy’s bass.
Crystal Death is out through eOne Music/Lifeblood, Inc. on January 19th. You can pre-order your copy now by heading over here. You can find out more about Earth Caller, including upcoming live dates, by clicking here.