Crisis | ‘Like Sheep Led to the Slaughter’
How many vocalists in metal are there that are as passionate, varied and downright visceral as the one and only Karyn Crisis?
I’d say you could count them on one hand.
Over the last decade this one woman army has done more abuse to her larynx than nearly any comparable figure in the underground, and it’s still wonderful after all this time to hear that she isn’t slowing down one bit.
But more of that later, because luckily Crisis has always been the sum of all its incredible parts, and this newest album sees them on fine form.
It’s been a long wait – seven years in fact, and the band have been generous in making it worth it with a pretty whopping twelve tracks on here.
Having been itching to hear this for so long, fretting through constant reassurances from the band that they still had a pulse, the result is nothing less than completely life affirming.
The gargantuan crescendo of lead track “Nomad” is huge in its apocalyptic omnipotence, while “Politics of Domination” sees the band firmly back in classic period “Deathshead Extermination” mode, with a furious execution of metallically influenced hardcore.
Time has mellowed them only slightly.
Things now are less rabid and spastic sounding, and the feel is one of warmth and total naturalism throughout.
The focus has shifted perceptibly toward the song as a single unified thing, and the results of this can clearly be heard on brilliant hookers such as “Blood Burden”.
New drummer Josh Florian fits into the band perfectly, apparently having been a long time fan anyway, with the exact mix of breakbeats and pummeling that was always the band’s hallmark in the past.
This is certainly their darkest and most uneasy listen to date, and there is a perceptibly more cataclysmic air about it than anything they have previously done.
Her Ladyship’s vocal delivery is as always however the utterly standout performance on the cd: shifting schizophrenically between perfectly sung graces and incredible feral barks, the mind still boggles.
And it all sounds so completely natural.
But that’s the great thing about this band, and that’s what has made me love them over the years.
There is not even a scintilla of contrivance about anything they do, from the brutal honesty of the live instrument tones with all their mistakes and imperfections, to the soulfelt and utterly acerbic vehemance that goes into the performance.
Many will complain that it isn’t “Deathshead Extermination pt II”, but neither was “The Hollowing”, and it hardly suffered for it.
Buy at once and darken your summer just that little bit more.
4.6/5 -Earl Grey ::: 06/06/04