Japanese electronicore band Crossfaith is now well into its seventh year of existence, and despite their relative youth, they are one of the biggest bands at the forefront of the next –core phenomenon: electronicore. In fact, the Osaka quintet’s latest output, APOCALYZE, could not have sounded more current, feeling like The Path of Totality (Korn, 2011) version 2, only with more –core than nu-metal in it.
Due to the heavy dubstep influence on top of Crossfaith’s typically electronica-influenced metalcore style, APOCALYZE feels like the product of a collaboration between one-man dubstep project Skrillex and Japanese trance metal band Blood Stain Child. The music often steps into trippy territory, with foozy-doozy dubstep breakdowns (“We Are The Future”), surreal MIDI sound sequences (“Hounds of the Apocalypse”) and over-synthesized vocals making for a lethal sonic cocktail that will drug the mind senseless and compel the body to wobble ‘til it drops.
It should be noted, however, that the combination of electronic sound effects and mostly screamed vocals can feel grating after a while. The fact that the limited edition of APOCALYZE clocks in at nearly an hour (53 minutes 41 seconds) makes this problem an unavoidable one. Even if one excludes the three bonus tracks found on the limited edition of the album, the standard version still contains 12 songs and clocks in at roughly 43 minutes.
Apart from the pointless, 29-second-long introductory instrumental track “Prelude”, my only other complaint is that vocalist Koie Kenta screams way too much within the same vocal range. As a result, the harsh vocals heard in every song sound one-dimensional. Kenta-kun should consider expanding his harsh vocal range and strive to include death growls, shrieks, and bestial gurgling into his vocal arsenal à la Kyo of fellow countrymen and shock metallers, Dir En Grey. It would add emotional depth and more musical interest to this vocals. It would also be excellent if he could alternate between screaming and clean singing more frequently on future records, because emphasizing the beauty-and-the-beast contrast is a technique that never fails to capture the attention of listeners.