We’re a nation of cynics at heart. We take positive messages in our art with a pinch of salt, and we never root for motivational speakers as much as we do for the outcast kids that label those speakers as the antichrist. So when presented with an album with a message of personal strength and motivation at heart, such as Earth Caller’s second full-length album ‘Crystal Death’, one can understand why the initial choice would be to sneer at it.
“I’ve walked alone through the cold dead night, and all I’ve brought back with me are these cold dead eyes”, vocalist Josh Collard proclaims on opener ‘Pipe Dreams’, with spite in his delivery like he’s spitting in the face of his doubters. This venom carries into tracks like the First Blood-esque political shaming on ‘No Forgiveness’ as the Melbourne quintet protest “watching sons and daughters get shipped off to war” and “the rich getting richer off the backs of the poor”.
This rage flows throughout the record and absolutely compliments the hard-hitting metallic hardcore the band summon across these eleven tracks. While the effective, high-definition production adds emphasis to breakdowns on ‘Sucka’ and the machine-gun paced ‘Never in Never Land’. The level of post-production mars the impact at other points of the record. The synthesised string sections on ‘Exposed’ and turbid ballad ‘Mirror’ come off as pretentious and unrequired on what is essentially a beatdown record.
At face value, ‘Crystal Death’ is a perfectly functional metallic hardcore record to stomp about your home to, but if you’ve listened to any I Killed the Prom Queen, Obey the Brave or Malevolence album, you’ve already got an idea of what this record sounds like. At least Earth Caller are as sincere about their message as they present on this album because most of us will be left cynical.
‘Crystal Death’ by Earth Caller is released on 19th January on eOne Music.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)