Time & Trauma
It’s good to have 36 Crazyfists back. From the opening notes of “Vanish (We All Disappear)”, you get the sense that the band feels revitalized. The famed Alaskan band created two of the best metalcore records ever with A Snow Capped Romance and Rest Inside the Flames, but they haven’t felt the same since. After releasing two disappointing records after two near-classics, the band took five years to make Time & Trauma, and it’s a good thing the band took its time. The groups’ latest album is a showcase for all that 36 Crazyfists does so well compared to its contemporaries. These are great songs, with melodies and riffs galore, and they feel much more substantial and weighty than expected. That, in large part, has to do with the lyrical content of the album. Time & Trauma is written about the dark time vocalist Brock Lindow has had of it recently, with the deaths of his mother and grandmother. Surely, this is a melancholic listen.
That said, this isn’t all a somber listen. There manages to be a silver lining permeating the tracks, a sort of literal kick in the pants to not be down forever that helps keep the sorrowful songs grounded. It also helps that these are some of the best songs of the band’s career. Despite some nifty, classic metalcore riffs, this feels a bit closer to rock than metal. “11.24.11” has a great thrashy riff and Brock’s trademark trade-off vocals. “Silencer” has an eerie vibe that works perfectly. In fact, this really feels like Brock’s record as much as anything. He sings a lot more than he did in recent efforts, and, love him or hate him, he certainly has a unique voice. Thankfully for 36 Crazyfists, this is Brock’s best effort yet, and it helps elevate Time & Trauma even more.
Overall, this is unquestionably the band’s best effort in almost a decade. By tackling serious subject matter and embracing the melodic and dynamic aspects of 36 Crazyfists’ sound, Time and Trauma is a resonant, impressive effort by a band who doesn’t appear to be aging. Time may have taken its toll on the group, but it’s clear from the sounds of the band’s latest that they are fighting Father Time right back. (Nicholas Senior)