Album Review: Crossfaith - Ex_Machina

Artist: Crossfaith

Album: Ex_Machina

Genre: Metalcore

Review by Steve Jenkins

Japanese metalcore juggernaut Crossfaith have just released their brand new album, Ex_Machina. Being known for their experimentation, the band have sort of been all over the place these past couple of years with a couple of EP's being dropped and hints and signs of lacking direction. Don't get me wrong, Crossfaith are extremely talented, versatile and and accomplished, but what I'm hearing on Ex_Machina is maybe a bit too overambitious, but a brave effort nonetheless.

Take a song like "Catastrophe", where one moment I'm listening to a hardcore song, which then turns into a clean singing Amity Affliction style track, then back to a weird electro-core sound. Then instead of having a heavy breakdown, you get this hardstyle breakdown that you'd hear at Defqon or something. Very strange, and not very pleasing. This is not a dig at dance music, I just think the two don't always go together and this is one of those moments. "The Perfect Nightmare" barrels from the beginning with speedy drums, chunky riffs and an accessible chorus that's a lot more welcoming than the previous track and a lot more metal sounding. We even get some pretty cool growls and aggressive vocals from Kenta Koie. This is probably one of the favourite tracks on the album.

The band do a pretty good job with their cover of Linkin Park's "Faint" to close out the album, but having roughly 3 or 4 good tracks out of 13, kind of makes the album drag and makes you think maybe another EP would have been smarter. The production is decent, but that's pretty standard with releases like this anyway. The musicianship of the guitars and drums definitely has a tonne of potential and it all gets sort of brought down and overshadowed with the electro elements.

I'll admit, they really did try put a lot into this album and being experimental and them willing to take a chance is something I admire, but it just didn't work on this occasion. Crossfaith have shown us over the years that they are a good band, their energy, their live performances and their unique style are something to hold in high regard. I know they're capable of making a better album than this and I'm sure that will eventually come, just not this time.

4 out of 10.

Ex_Machina is now available for purchase and streaming HERE.

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