Earth Caller – Crystal Death (Review)

Earth CallerEarth Caller are an Australian metallic hardcore band and this is their second album.

Earth Caller’s metallic hardcore operates more on the hardcore side of the trenches, but that doesn’t mean that their beefy metallic content should be discarded, however.

I like that the majority of the music on Crystal Death mixes eras with ease. There’s a certain level of old-school influence that can be heard in their sound, (think bands like Madball and Terror), along with more modern elements, (think Polar, Hollow Bones), as well as things in between, (think Most Precious Blood). Deathcore aggression also plays a part in the band’s sound, as does some good old-fashioned punk energy, and overall it makes for a compelling listen.

I also want to mention the melodic/atmospheric component of the band’s music, as this is notable both for its inclusion at all, but also for how effective it is. It’s not ubiquitous, but when it appears it can be quite uplifting and affecting.

The songs are catchy and memorable, as well as being so relentlessly energetic that Crystal Death can leave you quite breathless in places.

The singer has a good voice that, like the music, allows him to tread eras with equal ease. His main delivery is a throaty shout filled with old-school aggression. This has a certain Biohazard-esque quality to it that’s rarely heard in hardcore bands. Mixed with this we also get the more modern elements, which manifest in deeper deathcore-styled growls, as well as more melodic cleans and semi-cleans. Gang vocals sometimes back him up, and rather than sounding cringeworthy as these frequently can, here they’re delivered with passion and force when they appear. Guest female vocals are also effectively used on two tracks.

This is one of the best hardcore albums I’ve heard in some time. The band manage to do the unexpected and provide music that’s relatively individual in its delivery and realisation, despite gathering together various familiar elements from many eras and packaging them together as one. The fact that Earth Caller do this so well is a welcome bonus, as even if they weren’t the best at what they do, it would still probably be interesting to hear the end result. Make no mistake though, Earth Caller are very good at what they do.

If you want to hear the passion and energy of old-school tough-guy hardcore, only you want it updated with modern elements that give it real teeth and a contemporary emotive edge, then I heartily recommend Crystal Teeth.

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