By: Stephanie Stevens
We all have that one band that you latch onto, that really speaks to you, every time a song comes on. When I was hit with the 2002 debut album BITTERNESS THE STAR from the Alaskan band 36 CRAZYFISTS; I remember I was in my car, and was in awe of what I heard coming out of my speakers. I got to know these musicians through having endless interviews with them, and seeing them live any and all chances I got, when they came to town.
I grew with the band, I have seen them change members, go through struggles, change labels and keep making music, that is not only heavy, aggressive, powerful and meaningful, but keeps evolving; giving fans a place to call home, inside each and every track.
It’s been 23 years and singer Brock Lindow, guitarist Steve Holt, Bassist Mick Whitney and drummer Kyle Baltus are on the verge of releasing the band’s 7th studio album LANTERNS.
The success of this band has come in small waves, but from the band’s last album TIME & TRAUMA; where the band finally had a career high on music charts; the media and music fans are finally waking up, to realize this band has something very special as musicians and artists. LANTERNS has incorporated the sound of the old….fiery, intense, energy driven, but experimenting with the simpler, more eloquent sounds. Lindow shows off more range in his vocal capabilities; from the harsh and intense screams, to the melody driven, singing voice. He has been showing off, little by little, a more fragile sounding vocal style to him, but on this record, I feel like his heart and soul really bleeds, especially on tracks like “WHERE REVENEGE ENDS” and “DARK CORNERS.” Attributing to the soul you feel in his vocals, he is also bringing light into the lyrical content, where depression and anxiety is a very relative, and serious issue in the world these days. “SEA AND SMOKE” has melody driven vocals, intertwined with the hard-hitting soundscape; it brings you on a journey of passion and struggle, yet with a positive reassurance. “BETTER TO BURN” is high energy, its driven, it’s the signature of what 36 CRAZYFISTS does best. The chorus is on point, where the fans will be singing along for their lives. It’s got a great groove, the raspy and edgy vocals punch you, with that powerful high voltage energy. “WARS TO WALK AWAY FROM” heavy, melodic, with a sexy, messy attitude. This song stuck out rather prominently, when going through each track on the disc. “SLEEPSICK” is just gnarly, its heavy as fuck, digs into your soul; darker, uglier and strong. Probably my favorite song on the disc by far. The one thing I love about this band, is the way they can kick your ass, in the verses, and just let your heartbeat settle in the choruses, with a catchy, yet still grueling, sound. “BANDAGE OF PROMISE” makes you adore the voice of Lindow, like no tomorrow. He’s got that grasp and uniqueness, that just makes the song shine. “BELOW THE GRAVES” is fast, penetrating, groove oriented and soulful. “OLD GOLD” is another one, that blends the hard and soft, really showing off the talent, the musicianship and brotherhood that these guys have in the writing process. “DEATHEATER” starts the album off, and will end my review. This song, some of you already got a glimpse into, but I have to say, if there is one song that really platforms the album LANTERNS, it’s this one, by showing the classic sound of the band with modern twists. “DEATHEATER” kills you with some more of that same heavy, high energy attitude, that these guys consistently bring to every record and to every live show. The signature sound of Lindow is there, wrapped with the aggressive; very solid track.
36 CRAZYFISTS has really evolved, grown and continues bringing freshness to their sound, after all these years. You all might not be into their specific music, but you have to hand it to these boys, they are one of the few that can still progress with the ever-changing times. To the fans like me, who adore these guys (anytime I speak about this band I always say they are my heart n soul; I mean it), you will not be disappointed in LANTERNS. If you loved TIME & TRAUMA, then this one is going to blow your doors off; A must in your collection.
01. Death Eater
02. Wars To Walk Away From
03. Better To Burn
04. Damaged Under Sun
05. Sea And Smoke
06. Where Revenge Ends
08. Bandage For Promise
09. Laying Hands
10. Below The Graves
11. Old Gold
12. Dark Corners
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