Salvation of Innocents
03 March 2014
by Tomas Doyle
If you turn on the news, you will see an earth crisis: storms, war, remorseless lack of respect for our planet. That is nothing new of course; as a species we’ve been ripping ourselves apart from the inside and buttfucking the environment for as long as we’ve had conscious thought. Similarly, if you head down to your local record store you will see a new album by Earth Crisis.
That, also, is nothing new, the New York activists are stalwarts at this point. Of course, their legacy is long since secured, everyone from Touché Amoré to Unearth has been influenced by the asphalt-cracking blend of metal and hardcore they brought to prominence as one of Victory Records’ ‘big three’, before that once great label began churning out artless claptrap on the regular.
Indeed, it is nice to see that some things don’t change. On this, their eighth album Earth Crisis are still primarily concerned with the state of the globe and how we, its most powerful inhabitants treat everything else that dwells on it. Not everything is as it ever was though, there is a notably amped up and modern take on the metalcore the band were so central to forging this time out. A contemporary European influence infiltrates this record too, with faster moving numbers amongst the quintets more typical, mid-paced fare. The attempts at modernisation also extend to the (limited) inclusion of the sort of clean vocals that made 2000’s Slither such a hard record for long time ‘Crisis fans to stomach. To the band’s credit, they feel tasteful and amply restrained, though no doubt there will be listeners who still consider them an energy-sapping distraction.
Earth Crisis can still rip in the most strident way imaginable. ‘The Morbid Glare’ is pummelling, impassioned metallic hardcore of the highest order. High octane and raw as a weeping wound, the commitment to their message the band still have a quarter of a century down the line bleeds from the speakers. The riffs, the breakdowns, the apoplectic energy that are the lifeblood of ‘Salvation of Innocents’ will have even the most cynical 90s mosh kid nodding their head. Will it be as revered as Gomorrah’s Season End? Unlikely. Does it launch endlessly catchy riffs and sweet mosh moments into your face? Yes, yes it does.
Naturally, Earth Crisis aren’t re-inventing the wheel here – some might even argue that this record borrows too heavily from the bands they help influence. Yet at a time when much modern metal of this sort is flaccid, polite and utterly message-less at least the veterans are giving it all they’ve got here.
Sounds Like: Unearth, Hatebreed, Strife
Standout Tracks: De-Desensitize, The Morbid Glare, Final Breath