36 Crazyfists – Lanterns

Never quite the front runners, but always more than also-rans, 36 Crazyfists have consistently found themselves in the metalcore middleground, releasing decent if not decimating albums, and filling the undercard on some serious tour packages. There has always been a Wile E. Coyote sense of eternally chasing the momentum garnered by 2004’s excellent A Snow Capped Romance, but the roadrunner could be caught with Lanterns, which tweaks the signature sound just enough to keep the old guard happy while giving everyone else a much needed shot in the plums. Sounding more confident and coherent than ever before, the band loosen the shackles of the genre they helped to establish to make room for elements of nu-metal, post-hardcore and classic rock (if you can’t hear the 80s in the intro to Bandage For Promise then clearly you weren’t there!), meaning this is not a simple case of churn and burn, but an exercise in precision and power, all while packing some of the biggest grooves this side of Lamb of God. Tracks like Laying Hands and Sleepsick share as much with He Is Legend as they do with Killswitch Engage, both in their gargantuan riffs and their ability to sound absolutely enormous without relying solely on a killer chorus, but equally not ignoring them. Undeniably, the shining, glittery, twinkling star of the show is Steve Holt, who has plundered deep and surfaced with some of the best riffs of his career, Below The Graves in particular offering to cleave Pepper Keenan a new arse crack with a Zakk Wylde-shaped axe. Honourable mention should also go to Brock Lindow, whose distinctive vocals play in the shadows like never before, stalking unexpected corners like a killer and teetering dangerously close to off-key at times, amplifying that slurry, louche style he has been cultivating for so long to Tim Armstrong-esque levels of fluidity. A welcome return to form and a solid statement that the fists have got a few punches left in them.

26 Crazyfists

Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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