Collisions And Castaways review by 36 Crazyfists

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  • Released: Jul 27, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (29 votes)
36 Crazyfists: Collisions And Castaways
2

Sound — 8
After viewing 36 Crazyfists' Underneath A Northern Sky the 2009 DVD that played out as somewhat of an homage of sorts to the band's frosty hometown in Alaska it's difficult not to have a better grasp on how the band's music has developed over the years. The latest step in that evolution arrives with 36 Crazyfists' fifth studio album Collisions and Castaways, one that delves into various aspects of the musical spectrum along with your standard metalcore. The record certainly trades off gruff/death vocals with melodic choruses, but there are more than a few moments when you'll hear instrumental interludes and restrained, gain-free guitar licks

At the heart of the album is the work of guitarist Steve Holt, who not only shows his technical prowess, but also his proficiency in the studio as producer. While there are a few songs like Reviver that are carried by the main underlying melody, most of the tracks stand out because of the excellent riffage. The opener In The Midnights first sounds as if it will be essentially the album's overture with an emotional acoustic intro, but the track quickly builds and transitions into an electric powerhouse.

36 Crazyfists doesn't stick with just one formula, and that's the big selling point of the record. While plenty of metalcore bands rely on your standard screamed/growled verse and clean chorus, Collisions and Castaways isn't afraid to strip it all back with a song like Caving In Spirals. While it's not as mellow as some rock tunes out there, it's certainly one of the most subdued on the album. Long Road To The Late Nights is an instrumental that once again accentuates Holt's ability to write a strong composition regardless of the genre.

For as low-key as 36 Crazyfists can become, Collisions and Castaways shines in the aggressive moments. Whitewater and Death Renames The Light is carried by grooving, rough riffage, while the latter is an excellent example of Brock Lindow's strength as a capable frontman. Elsewhere Anchors, which features Adam Jackson of Twelve Tribes and Raithon Clay of Plans To Make Perfect, contains a fantastic breakdown that has somewhat of a Lamb of God vibe to it. Collisions and Castaways isn't a perfect album, but 36 Crazyfists venture into some new territory and continue to keep things intriguing.

Lyrics — 9
I really wanted to talk about what has hampered progress for me in my life, Brock Lindow has said about his latest work on Collisions and Castaways. The latest album most definitely is an emotional journey that comes through each of the 11 tracks. Whether he examines the imperfection of past actions in Mercy and Grace (Untangle me from my detest; Untangle my wreck; Slowly but surely we're dining in a table of regret) or examining inner flaws in Trenches (I can't be reached in this soulless design; Capsized my insides). Collisions and Castaways is a heart-wrenching diary of sorts from Lindow, and that honesty should connect with plenty of listeners.

Overall Impression — 9
There has been discussion that Collisions and Castaways is 36 Crazyfists' heaviest album yet, and there are moments when that is an accurate statement. But on the same token, it's a record with depth and emotional ups/downs. It's not necessarily a perfect album from start to finish and a few songs do lag, but on the whole Collisions and Castaways is another solid offering from Alaska's pride and joy.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ThorOfValhalla
    I must simply and happily say that THIS is the album I've been waiting all year for. 36 Crazyfists have yet to disappoint, and I don't want to turn this into a mini-review, but they have truly perfected the ideal mix of fierce and beautiful, without treading into the territory of "chaotic/dynamic for the sake of being chaotic/dynamic". 4 songs in (5, if I count having already heard "Reviver") after just buying it, and we may be seeing a high 9, if not a 10, in my book.
    Jon777
    I didn't like their last release, but after reading this review I guess I should check this out.
    neonsquirrel86
    Awesome album. I didn't even know that it was coming out until I read the review yesterday, so it was a good surprise. I think it's their heaviest overall yet. Their best? Tough to say, I gotta listen to it several more times. They've come a long way since Bitterness tho. And ready2breakdown, the Best Buy in Springfield had it available. Don't know if you're close to Delco or not but check there if you are.
    ready2breakdown
    cmart227 wrote: i'd be damned if there isn't only one copy of this that shipped to any best buy in all of the surrounding houston areas
    Dude TELL ME ABOUT IT! I live in the Philly area and I went to two FYEs, Best Buy, and Hot Topic(although there are two other Hot Topics I can check). NONE had the CD(or Chimaira's new DVD). I can't believe it! They're on Ferret(a Philly start-up label, at that!) and they're distributed by Warner now. I hope this label isn't trying to screw 36 because I hear the label isn't taking the metal bands terribly serious...
    Hells.Mascot
    This band has always been good stuff, but I feel like they've musically evolved this time around, even if it does give a backseat to what used to make them so unique. It's like they've always had the talent, they were just using it off somewhere else, and now they've decided to channel it into directly competing with the sound of the 'big boys', and it turns out they give them more than a run for their money.
    NorCalLos
    EpiExplorer wrote: Alaska's pride and joy If I were the band and I read that, I'd shoot myself. Older version of the band were much better anyway, this metalcore update is dissapointing: Anything that was unique about 36CF has been taken away and replaced with the need for record sales.
    I strongly disagree. I thought their first two albums blew donkey farts, but the two prior to this new one were really good. Can't wait to get home and download this one.
    cmart227
    i'd be damned if there isn't only one copy of this that shipped to any best buy in all of the surrounding houston areas
    duncang
    Not a fan of the band, but this is a decent review. Get your name on it, anonymous writer! Checked.
    Megalomaniac46
    Older version of the band were much better anyway, this metalcore update is dissapointing: Anything that was unique about 36CF has been taken away and replaced with the need for record sales.
    Dude, I don't know how many time I've seen you commenting on metal/deathcore reviews complaining about breakdowns and whatnot. If you don't like the genre, why bother? Have you nothing better to do? :/
    EpiExplorer
    Its by no means bad though. If they took away the breakdowns and the deathcore vocals, I would buy it.
    EpiExplorer
    Alaska's pride and joy
    If I were the band and I read that, I'd shoot myself. Older version of the band were much better anyway, this metalcore update is dissapointing: Anything that was unique about 36CF has been taken away and replaced with the need for record sales.
    98Timberwolf
    I listened to 5 tracks and it's great so far. I could have sworn I was listening to Opeth for the first 1:45 of "In the Midnights."
    silent_suicide
    Fantastic album, and a fantastic review to boot. We need more people to hear of these guys, they're too awesome to be as underground as they are
    Mr Winters
    Saw them about a month ago with Unearh and Atreyu and the rocked big time. Definitely gonna check this stuff out
    rutnik
    Album of the year, no doubt. This band is so ****ing underrated it makes me sick, they should be in the top!
    ianaimo
    Well personally, I like this album it has sum pretty awesum music. The one thing I feel overall is that Brock doesn't break out some of those amazing melodies he was capable of like he did on "a snow capped romance" or "rest inside the flames". 36CF as a band has an evolved sound in general mixing metalcore with nu-metal. I feel like one of the main reasons these guys are so underrated and underground, is because they keep getting put on tours with bands they sound nothing like. For example, their last tour was with fear factory and after the burial. I went to that show solely for after the burial and 36CF both of whom were amazing. They sound NOTHING like though lol. Hopefully, with 36CF's headlining tour coming up, this will help them get noticed better.