Japanese metalcore outfit Crossfaith have been an active and experimental band for over a decade now, becoming known for their hardcore style blended with electronica and technical riffs. And, with the band confirming in an interview with us last year that they hope to release a full-length LP at some point in 2018, the Osaka five-piece have released a teaser 3-track EP titled ‘Wipeout’ to give us a taste of things to come.
The EP’s title-track is the first choice of single, and opens the release up in an exuberant fashion, harnessing the EDM infused, high tempo metalcore sound that we’ve come to associate with the band. Its aggressiveness, for the most part, is intense, yet the chorus is perhaps a tad bit two-dimensional and predictable. The choice for vocalist Kenta Koie to almost nu-metal style rap at times on this track does also take away from the fierceness that it threatens to create.
‘Inside The Flames’ follows-up, and is much more of a straight hardcore track than its predecessor and feels much more complete as a song. Koie delivers a powerful performance, with both his clean and screamed vocals executed superbly over the crunching distortion of the lick-filled guitars.
‘Vermillion Gold’ sounds slightly like it’s somewhere between a metalcore piece and a soundtrack to a video game, due to its staccato electronic strings beneath the bellowing and brash guitars in both the instrumental sections and the chorus. This adds an additional fun element to the song, but perhaps takes away from the extreme and heavy nature that the track wants to achieve. Still, the song is incredibly well-performed with technically complex riffs and supercharged, double-time tempo not only showing the talent of the group, if not also making the song a front runner for any future Guitar Hero video games.
You could argue that an EP with only three tracks is a bit of a letdown, and, yes, it does feel a little lacking in depth in that sense, with elements of both ‘Wipeout’ and ‘Vermillion Gold’ sounding slightly contrived and out of place. Yet, Crossfaith are a band who don’t like to stick to the same path and do favour experimenting, and that does have to be credited. Perhaps what this EP tells us is that Crossfaith don’t care for playing it safe and that is how they wish to go forward in their future releases.
Fingers crossed we finally get a full-length follow-up to 2015’s ‘Xeno’ before the year is up; we’ve already had three EPs of new material since then.