There is little doubt that, given their countless blistering performances in recent months, Crossfaith have proved themselves as perhaps the most deliriously exciting live act in modern heavy music. Indeed, with their metallic rave mash up bulit for the stage, the Japanese quintet can, somewhat understandably, struggle to deliver on record the intensity which we all know they are capable of, even 2013’s ‘Apocalyze’ and its electrifying mosh/dance amalgam just wide of the mark:
‘Xeno’ provides glimpses of the band at their scintillating best, ‘Dystopia‘s muscular grooves dialing down the electronics’s a tad in favour of thudding metalcore punch, yet beneath the throbbing synth hooks and luminous electro colour, this fourth length does mark a rather obvious songwriting slump from the hyper-active five piece.
With the spotlight shifting slightly from their exhilarating, Prodigy-sized weightiness to some anemic attempts at the clean chorus game, not least on wholly unnecessary ballad ‘Tears Fall’, a confusing injection of age-old metalcore cliches renders many of these songs as somewhat uninspired, diluting their sonic palate with throwaway gimmicks.
Having said this, ‘Xeno’ delivers more than enough trademark Crossfaith to keep fans sated, the title tracks rampaging thump and an typically outrageous (if cringe worthy) appearance from Skindred‘s Benji Webb (‘Wildfire’) maintaining the glo stick/head banging vibes, yet it is difficult to swerve the feeling that the band have compromised something of themselves. The thrill of Crossfaith‘s emergence came from their refusal to curtail either side of their rave/rock blueprint. It is a shame that, just a few years down the line, the same cannot be said for ‘Xeno’.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)