To The Death Review

artist: Earth Crisis date: 05/14/2009 category: compact discs
Earth Crisis: To The Death
Released: Apr 20, 2009
Genre: Hardcore
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 11
Straight edge, vegan warriors Earth Crisis return with core members and a new album while retaining their signature sound and values.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 8
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review (1) 27 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
To The Death Featured review by: UG Team, on may 14, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: In the mid 1990s, Syracuse's Earth Crisis were leading the charge for message-driven hardcore. They also helped kick off what is now termed as metalcore. To the Death, the reunited band's latest effort, proves that old habits haven't died. Muscular, moshy riffs and vocalist Karl Buechner's vitriolic barks still comprise the core tenets of ExCx' sound. Not much has changed but we're not so sure we wanted the band to veer off the path it forged when it was breaking ground a decade ago! There's a plethora of stompy, riffy and chunky breakdowns on Against the Current and To Ashes. Ultimately, it's a handful of songs that are front-loaded with guitar brutality and more groove then mosh fiends will know what to do with! There are also more breakdowns than a mental institution happening on To the Death but amidst the fury, the album has a crisp, clean production, afforded by Tue Madsen's guiding hand. // 7

Lyrics: Earth Crisis wouldn't be the Earth Crisis we know and love without lyrics pertaining to animal rights, veganism and the promotion of a clean, alternative lifestyle. Even the title suggests that the straight edge and animal-friendly lifestyles are that which should be adhered till until the cessation of existence. If the guys were to reform and not sing about these topics, they would have to adopt a new name, as Earth Crisis, to their credit, are synonymous with XXX living and education about animal liberation issues. Keepin' the edge is a crucial piece of the ExCx pie and it's here, through and through. However, if you aren't the least bit interested in what the band has to say but still enjoy getting your mosh on to corrosive, metallic tunes, don't fret. You won't be overwhelmingly assaulted by the lyrics since Buechner spits his words fast and ferociously, and he's not always 100 percent decipherable. If you want to educate yourself and be prepared to scream along at the band's shows, then you'll want to pour through the lyrics and do a little web research. // 9

Overall Impression: So many bands that are popular today have been built from Earth Crisis' template. While To the Death may not be of the same fresh caliber as the Firestorm EP or the seminal Destroy the Machines, which are essential albums from the band's impressive catalog, it is a welcome and easy-to-embrace return to the marketplace. Earth Crisis fans of old will not be disappointed by the ultra-brutal offerings contained on To the Death. The straight edge and socially conscious aspects of hardcore petered out in the early 00s, so it's fitting for the band who proudly waved the flag for revolution and change to emerge from their own ashes. Not many bands carried the torch of this band's message and the ethos-directed element of the HxCx scene has been sorely lacking in the aftermath. Props to Earth Crisis for a much-needed resurrection. Hopefully, more heads will be turned to their causes and issues. If not, at least we get some music that's as tough as getting you face dragged across the pavement. // 8

- Amy Sciarretto (c) 2009

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