This Is A Sickness And Sickness Will End

Written by: PP on 26/04/2017 23:28:58

Satanic pop punkers Crusades are an acquired taste for most punk fans given their stylistic complexity and refusal to be compartmentalized into a specific subgenre or two, not to even mention their unconventional vocals that find themselves somewhere between high pitched cleans and church choirs most of the time. Their third album "This Is A Sickness And Sickness Will End" underlines why many consider them one of the most creative and unique bands in existence within punk rock by continuously pushing the boundaries of genre in all directions.

Depth-laden songwriting is key here with multiple songs surpassing the five minute-mark. Complex progressive passages morph into choral melodies and subtle, if exceptionally gloomy piano melodies, and back again into basic punk rock formula, often within the same song. The instrumentation is technically advanced, relying on heavy atmospherics and metallic guitars to arrive at the blackened mood that encompasses their expression in overt pessimism. At the same time, the band casually reference the likes of Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio instrumentally, but aren't afraid to dive head first into sludge and hardcore, such as on "1866 (Porch And Portal)". The progressive soundscapes will also draw parallels to the oft-misunderstood punk rock operaists Morning Glory, whose expression is equally challenging and demanding from its listener as Crusades' on this album. Perhaps even Propagandhi could be a comparison point given the depth and density of their expression.

Still, the remarkable thing about "This Is A Sickness..." is its gloomy, dark atmosphere. Few bands sound so seething and despaired in punk rock whilst still able to write surprising catchy melodies: "1590 (Sickness Never Ceasing)" or the 80s punk-inspired "1828 (Father Of Waves)" are great examples of just that. At the same time you have unconventional metaphoric lyricism like the following from "1940 (Whirr And Chime)": "Expose our vulnerability, tales of woe, and abstract sympathy" that leaves it fully open to interpretation what the band is exactly talking about.

And that's the beauty of the album: it's a thinker's record. Demanding in its complexity and not one that easily opens up to its listener, it is equally rewarding when given enough time and attention.

Download:1828 (Father Of Waves), 1940 (Whirr And Chime), 1713 (The Scorching Fevers), 1657 (Black Curtains Draw)
For the fans of: Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio, Morning Glory
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.03.2017
Anxious & Angry / Countless Altars

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