Words by Carly Gibbs
You may have been lucky enough to catch Crossfaith playing support to one of our biggest heavy exports, The Amity Affliction, last year, alongside Pagan and Underoath for what was said to have been a show of epic proportions. Or maybe you caught them at Soundwave in 2015. Or maybe before that in 2013 at either Soundwave or on their tour with Bring Me the Horizon and Of Mice and Men. Suffice to say, they are no strangers to our shores, to touring the world alongside a slew of ridiculously brilliant bands or to providing us album after album of solid tunes. Hailing from Japan, Crossfaith are a blend of Metal, Hardcore and Electronica at its finest.
Now, like a shot in the arm against all of that Coronavirus noise, the band are set to release their new EP ‘Species’ on the 22nd of May and once again, it serves up that spicy potency and electric vivacity that we’ve come to expect from Crossfaith. It’s a short and sweet, five track EP, coming in at just over 15 minutes but my, oh my, does it pack a punch.
The opening track Digital Parasite was released on Spotify on April the 9th and already has nearly 100,000 plays. In a month. Crazy. But it’s not hard to understand why though, once you push play on this track. The song opens with electronic atmospherics and a menacing, repetitive whisper championing the EP’s title, ‘Species’. Not even 30 seconds in and you are hit front on with a tidal wave of bounce and brutality. The track takes a left turn into trap metal territory, a section that would sit comfortably on a Ghostemane cut. Only a short visit here but enough to make an impact before heading back into familiar territory.
Endorphin opens and has me at full “rave kid” level straight up. It does exactly as the name suggests, helping my brain release those happy, little, warming endorphins into my already energised body. Old school rave to rival anything you’d find at a grubby 90’s squat or warehouse party, slammed into a catchy riff and Kenta Koie’s screaming vocals that would surely blow your gurning face straight if you were here purely for the gabber. Admittedly, you could probably transition pretty easily from gabber to a flailing windmill or some fight dancing, but I digress. If you know anything about Crossfaith it’s that they can blend these genres absolutely seamlessly and Endorphin does not prove otherwise.
Third track and we are at the halfway point. A mere 7 minutes in. Truth of Insanity opens with Kenta speaking the first verse and reminds me a little of something you might hear from Corey Taylor on a Slipknot track. The chorus is theatrical and anthemic and it’s a little reminiscent of Dragonforce in its pace and the high keys. I am humming vigorously and enthusiastically in a public place and can now hear myself over the music in my headphones. Cathartic? Yes. Embarrassing? Also, yes.
None of your Business is the fourth track on ‘Species’ and features Jin Dogg. I hadn’t heard Jin Dogg before but those that are a bit more across the Trap realm than I, more specifically Japanese Trap or hip hop, would have most likely come across him. His music is vicious and lends an extra layer of darkness to this track. Plus, Jin Dogg sings his verse in Japanese which is rad. There is an air of insanity and recklessness here that is portrayed through the vocals of both Kenta and Jin Dogg and works really well at creating a blood-thirsty and enraged tone.
The closing track to ‘Species’ is Your Song. It starts off a lot lighter than the previous track with an electronic intro that Skrillex might have come up with had it not already been created by Terufumi Tamano. But not for long. There is a sorrowful air to it which is explained with the line “Your soul is gone forever”. It’s about a farewell or a loss of something that will not return. The chorus is most definitely where it shines with Kenta and Terufumi’s vocals playing off each other beautifully. It’s a fantastic way to bring the energy down to finish the EP and makes the listener tap into something visceral and allow themselves to be moved by its poignancy. A highlight track for me.
Crossfaith have a legion of dedicated fans and admittedly you probably already know whether or not this will be your jam. If you aren’t a fan of their genre melding ways then maybe not, but I’d say it’s worth still giving it a spin as they have added elements on this EP that are unlike anything else they have released before. If you are already a fan then you are going to love ‘Species’. It’s reminded me how much fun and how talented they are and also silently scolded me for not listening to them for so long. I remember now why I loved ‘Zion’ so much when I first heard it all of those years ago.
Spotify shows that Brisbane is the top place where people listen to Crossfaith, so clearly the local scene is already pumped for this release.
‘Species’ is set for release Friday May 22 via UNFD.
You can pre order/pre save your copy HERE
Crossfaith are –
Kenta ‘Ken’ Koie vocals
Kazuki Takemura guitar
Hiroki ‘Hiro’ Ikegawa bass
Terufumi ‘Teru’ Tamano keyboard
Tatsuya Amano drums
With thanks to Unified Music Group