Monday, July 11, 2011

Earth Crisis - Neutralize The Threat

Earth Crisis
Neutralize The Threat
Century Media Records/E.M.I. Music Australia

After a six year hiatus, Syracuse (New York, U.S.) based metalcore/hardcore vegan/straightedge act Earth Crisis reformed in 2007 for what was supposed to be a one-off show.
Four years on, and one post-reunion album later (2009’s ‘To The Death’), and Earth Crisis are still going strong, with the five piece outfit (Comprising of vocalist Karl Buechner, guitarists Scott Crouse and Erick Edwards, bassist Ian ‘Bulldog’ Edwards and drummer Dennis Merrick) returning with their seventh full-length album ‘Neutralize The Threat’.
The opening track ‘Raise’ provides a surprisingly slow and grooving start to the album. But what the track lacks in pace (Not to mention length at less than a minute and a half long), it more than makes up in density of sound from the guitars, a menacing and up-front bass presence throughout and a brutal vocal and lyrical punch from Buechner.
The follow on title track ‘Neutralize The Threat’ is a definite favourite with its crushingly heavy riffs and its inclusion of a brief solo, while the catchy (Not to mention downright punishing) ‘Total War’, the thrash-like ‘Counterstrike’ and the somewhat experimental and diverse grooving elements within ‘Askari’ are further definitive stand out cuts on the album.
While there’s nothing on the album that could be called below par, other solid tracks worthy of a special mention can be found in ‘By Conscience Compelled’, the fast paced/punk blast of ‘Black Talons Tear’ and ‘The Eradicators’.
Having well and truly re-established their sound and direction with their comeback release from a couple of years ago, you could hazard a guess and say that with ‘Neutralize The Threat’, Earth Crisis aren’t likely to make any real drastic changes to the well entrenched direction of their latest release. And sure enough, ‘Neutralize The Threat’ is an Earth Crisis album through and through. But while the band aren’t necessarily reinventing the modern metalcore/hardcore scene, the strengths within ‘Neutralize The Threat’ lie primarily with the band’s ability to write quality songs, which makes the veteran act’s latest addition to their catalogue a worthy effort fans shouldn’t hesitate to add to their collection.

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© Justin Donnelly