36 Crazyfists

Time And Trauma

Written by: PP on 09/02/2015 23:32:27

It's been a while since we've heard anything about 36 Crazyfists. Five years ago, they released a rather disappointing album in "Collisions And Castaways", one which symbolized the general decline of modern post-hardcore and metalcore as genres in 2010. Without being altogether awful, the record was a far cry from the solid output the Alaskans were known for throughout the mid 2000s after their breakthrough album "A Snowcapped Romance" in 2004. Too much technical metalcore in the vein of As I Lay Dying and/or All That Remains meant some of the symbiosis with post-hardcore was lost in the process; the balance between the two genres was always the primary element that made their sound interesting.

Their seventh album "Time And Trauma" marks a triumphant return of the post-hardcore element into their sound. Make no mistake, the riffage and especially Brock Nelson's signature cacophonic and sharp shrieks are still dominant in the mix, but these are again contrasted with melancholic mid-range cleans, offering an intriguing retrospective look into how post-hardcore used to sound like about a decade ago. The complete absence of high pitch cleans is refreshing; the addition of nu-metal and hard rock elements (see: "Slivers") is another feat rarely heard on this type of records these days. It's another nod to their "A Snow Capped Romance" days, albeit with strong metalcore and post-hardcore flavor laid on top. But more importantly, it sounds totally different from the modern post-hardcore / metalcore bands primarily found on Rise Records roster and others like them. 36 Crazyfists don't use generic breakdowns, compressed guitars, nor autotuned high pitch cleans to make their point.

Instead, they use real dynamics within their songs where desperation-filled melancholic singing is in sharp contrast with the razor sharp shrieks in sections that flow smoothly together. While the first few songs of the record might sound like business as usual, from "Lightless" onwards the band sheds light on why they were one of the most respected post-hardcore / metalcore hybrids in the mid 2000s. Passionate howls and instantly catchy vocal melodies supplement tight and well-written riffs on almost every song. The title track is another highlight together with "Silencer", putting together stark contrasts between the softer and heavier sections in each track. And rest assured, 36 Crazyfists have always known how to write crushing riffage, that doesn't change on "Time And Trauma" either.

Still, if there's one criticism of the album it is that it does on occasion sound slightly dated in its expression. That is natural, of course, given how we are referencing the early foundations of metalcore and post-hardcore as we know it today, and the genres have evolved quite a bit since then. But paradoxically, this is at the same time exactly the album 36 Crazyfists needed to make to stay relevant. Continuing on the straight up metalcore path wasn't gonna get them anywhere; bringing back the strength of their earlier sound in the form of post-hardcore might just do that. Either way, the scene's response to "Time And Trauma" will largely depend on which era of metalcore / post-hardcore you grew up with. For us old schoolers (relative term, I know), this is exactly the sound that we've been missing on modern releases.


Download: Lightless, Time And Trauma, Silencer, Sorrow Sings, Also Am I
For the fans of: Boy Hits Car, Hopesfall, A Static Lullaby, From Autumn To Ashes, Boysetsfire, Funeral For A Friend
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.02.2015
Spinefarm Records

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