Neutralize The Threat
4 July 2011
by Dan Pelic
While Earth Crisis were undeniably an innovator in shaping the sound that became the metalcore genre, even they cannot advance the genre any further themselves – let alone with a single album. Neutralize The Threat is a respectable follow up to 2009’s To The Death, but it does little to inspire something new in the listener.
To The Death had an extra kick to it being the first recorded contribution to hardcore from ‘Earth Crisis Version 2.0’ in eight years. Yet, in the big scheme of things, it was simply a solid metalcore record. Just because Earth Crisis shook off the shittiness of 2000’s Slither and tapped the glory days of 1998’s Breed The Killers and 1996’s Gomorrah’s Season Ends does not mean they broke any new ground. While a formidable heavy record on its own, Neutralize… is even further removed from the possibility of displaying innovation in hardcore.
One thing that has always had me praising Earth Crisis, though, is the genuine passion they have for their message and injecting it into their music. I’ll give it to them that besides the atrociousness of Slither; they have done it consistently on every album, with this one being no different. The aptly titled, ‘Total War’, sounds as it suggests: an anthem for eco-friendly tough guys marching into… war… TOTAL war, that is.
Being one to always be picky about the finer points of recordings, the production on the album is nothing short of brilliant. It’s polished enough to give it the feel of a sleek modern recording while never failing in capturing the raw rebellious energy of this politically charged band. Bravo, Chris “Zeuss” Harris (producer). It’s no wonder why you are the father of all gods.
Interestingly enough, this is a sort of concept album in that “Every song is lyrically inspired by real-life vigilante actions that have taken place around the globe,” according to guitarist, Scott Crouse. Attention grabbing underscores to the lyrics aside, we cannot expect Earth Crisis as past pioneers to carry the weight of the metalcore world on their shoulders beyond where it exists today with Neutralize The Threat.
That said, however, Earth Crisis commands respect for still being able to drive their music-with-a-message home nearly 20 years into their career on this album.
Sounds like: Zao, Indecision, Sworn Enemy
Top tracks: Total War, By Conscience Compelled, Black Talons Tear
Earth Crisis – Neutralize The Threat tracklisting
Neutralize The Threat
100 Kiloton Blast
By Conscience Compelled
Black Talons Tear