With its title representing its creators’ “hard work, dedication and friendship”, Against The Odds is the fourth album from Spanish thrashers Crisix and one of those releases which revels in all the best attributes of thrash metal whilst adding its own individual adventure. It is a mix of the familiar and the boldly fresh, an inescapably rousing old school inspired modern fired romp of an encounter and a very tasty offering indeed.
Formed in 2008, the Barcelona hailing outfit has honed their sound across a trio of increasingly well-received albums beginning with The Menace in 2011. Both the following Rise…Then Rest of 2013 and From Blue to Black three years later established the band on their homeland’s metal scene while fuelling their reputation around Europe backed by an acclaim gathering live presence. Against The Odds just might be the moment when Crisix becomes a worldly known name, certainly it will awaken a horde of new hungry fans such its accomplished and impassioned roar.
Mastered by Jens Bogren (Arch Enemy, Kreator, At The Gates, Opeth) the album rips from the speakers with opener Get Out Of My Head. Riffs and rhythms surge through ears, their recognisable hues ridden by the gruff tones of Juli Bazooka. Backing band hollers and grooved incitement add to the growing virulence, its hooks flirting with the inane cheap tricks of the pop songs it takes a swipe at but always a dexterous intimation. It is vintage and individual thrash in one spirit, chest thumping stomp and a glorious start to the album.
The following Leech Breeder has a darker more intensive character and again the guitars of B.B. Plaza and Albert Requena unleash a tide of ravenous riffs to get things going. The bone shaking beats of drummer Javi Carry resonate on impact and song throughout, his anthemic prowess matched by the great bass grumble cast by Dani Ramis. Its irritability is echoed across the song from voice to tone, an aggressive trespass which only accentuates the infectious instincts of the track before Technophiliac matches its urgency and muscle with its own challenging contemplation. Weaving textures as addictive to ears as the source of its theme is to modern society, the song embraces extreme metal brutality and melodic enterprise in its imaginative web of flavours.
Three tracks in and it is fair to say that Against The Odds had us hooked and even more so as the atmospheric opening of Perseverance glides over the imagination. Its progressively hued suggestiveness subsequently parts way for a harsher climate to surround the senses but Crisix continue to experiment and weave an imaginative adventure as metalcore and other varied metallic hues entangle. Arguably the boldest track on the album for stretching their thrash instincts it is a wholly magnetic affair suggesting exciting new exploits ahead with the band.
Not that pleasure is lacking with Against All Odds, the Alien inspired Xenomorph Blood bursting out to consume attention and inflame an already greedy appetite with its murderous throes while Prince Of Saiyans floods the senses with its thunderous thrash ferocity. Dragon Ball themed, it is also another hungrily catchy escapade as eager to have the listener bouncing as dangling on the end of its lung depleting charge. With heavy metal spicing adding rich flames to its blaze, the track is rock ‘n’ roll at its grievous captivating best.
Leave Your God Behind is technical death thrash bred pillaging which did not inflame our senses as much as those before it but only kept the forceful persuasion of the album in top gear before Cut The Shit had all and sundry around defiantly roaring at the world with fists raised along with its rabid crossover thrash incitement. There are some tracks which have you throwing yourself around like a dervish, this more than most.
With also an open passion for Game Of Thrones, Crisix venture into its world with The North Remembers, a warrior roar of a homage with no intent of hiding the band’s love of its inspiration. With the guitars weaving skilled lures and devious riffs as rhythms impose and vocals unite in raucous enthusiasm, it is a fine finale to the album if not quite challenging for best moment as other songs more acutely do. You just know though that it is going to be a fan favourite and have venues roaring in unity.
As the years pass we find ourselves becoming more entangled and enamoured with the various shades and adventures emerging within thrash metal, bands like Crisix and records such as Against The Odds give all the reasons why.
Against The Odds is available now via Listenable Records @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/186_crisix
Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018
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