It's been a long time since Crisis put out an album.
So long, in fact, that I had to wonder if they had given up.
Apparently, though, they had gone through some internal issues,
including a long hiatus, a name change that was rescinded
a year later and finally, they managed to come back to record
their first album since The
Hollowing in 1997. Adding guitarist Jwyanza Hobson and
drummer Joshua Florian to the lineup of vocalist Karyn Crisis,
Guitarist Afzaal Nasiruddeen and bassist Gia Chuan Wang has
managed to lend an evolution to the band's songwriting
When it comes to heavy metal, many acts tend to fall into
one sub-genre or another, making it easy to describe their
sound with a simple descriptor, or by linking them to one
act or another. With Crisis, though, this is not so
easy. Crisis presents an eclectic multicultural art-metal
that's as much about the mood as it is the mentality. There
are heavy influences coming from all directions that manage
to mold into a deep, intricate yet without pretense offering
that's ultimately given it's personality by it's vocals. As
headmistress, Karyn Crisis runs the gambit, from melodic to
raspy and violent screeches. No matter what comes out of her
mouth, it's powerful and grabs your attention.
The album opens with Omen, a short, dark soundscape
that growls it's way into Waking The Dead, a more straightforward
thrashing metal track with heavy, beating riffs and a pounding
drum beat. A Graveyard For Bitches follows with a more
intricate effort, really driving home the talent that the
band has in writing and performing detailed and varied guitar
and bass lines. The stuttered pounding that breaks up the
main flow of the song drives the mood of the track well. Nomad
begins light, rolling in with a sitar and then carrying on
a more reserved mood that takes off with the military beat
around two minutes into the track.
Politics of Domination is probably one of the more
"radio friendly" tracks in that it follows a more
traditional pattern and has some powerful thrashing riffs.
Even with that said, it can be a hard pill to swallow with
Karyn's raspy growl belting out the lyrics. Blood Burden
is one of the best tracks on the album, showing off how tight
the band is by driving a powerful song down the listener's
throat. This is followed by Rats In The Maze, a more
vocal take on instrumentals that leads into Secrets of
the Prison House, a signature piece that feels drawn more
from the older sound of Crisis. If you've been a long-time
fan, this track will feel more at home than most of the others.
Corpus Apocalypse is a building pulse of a track that
keeps trudging on, like an audio rollercoaster, featuring
some nice drum work that keeps the pace rolling without much
of a reprieve. Study In Cancer once again heads back
to older territories, but with the aid of Daniel Dismal of
Crematorium on the vocals for the chorus, keeps from
feels too much like older works. Exit Catacomb's is
a powerful and moody track that shifts from rage to depression
almost second-by-second. The final track, The Fate,
is a wonderful pseudo instrumental that works excellently
as a final punctuation to the album.
Like Sheep Led To Slaughter is a wonderful return
for Crisis. The new blood in the band and time away
seem to have given the band enough new ideas to keep their
music from becoming stale like so many other acts do. If they
have to take another hiatus before their next album, let them
- the work that comes from it will be worth the wait.