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Releases of the Week: Earth Crisis & Catherine by subsonicd1sc0rd

PhotobucketEarth Crisis, To The Death

After breaking up in 2001, the revered vegan straight-edgers in Earth Crisis are back and angrier than ever. To The Death is an album that combines the lyrical content of 1995’s Destroy The Machines and the metallic onslaught of 1998’s Breed The Killers to put Earth Crisis back on the map as Syracuse’s hardcore heroes. The album starts off strong with sXe anthem, “Against The Current”, as vocalist Karl Buechner passionately screams “Everlasting loyalty/Straight Edge in contrast/To the conscious corpses/That drift lifeless past”. Musically, To The Death is surprisingly technical while maintaining enough breakdowns and gang vocals to make sure the Earth Crisis live experience is as interactive as ever.

There’s very few hardcore bands left that have as much conviction for their beliefs as Earth Crisis do. “To Ashes” is a song that tells the story of the “ultimate act of intervention”, burning down a meth lab to save a loved one from drug addiction while “Security Threat #1” associates drug dealers with terrorists. To The Death is the record that long-time fans were hoping for and the perfect introduction for young kids just getting into the band. Although the members of Earth Crisis now have to balance their music with their families, they are heavily touring in support of this new album, including their first home show since 2001 (fittingly at the Lost Horizon) on May 3rd.

While most band reunions are met with skepticism, Earth Crisis has come back with a bang, raising awareness about animal cruelty and global narco-terrorism in their always-militant fashion. Although these messages might seem preachy at times, any fan of hardcore knows that participating in the scene is about taking in the various viewpoints you hear and then forming your own opinions. For what its worth, the fact that To The Death actually says something that mainstream culture would never support is proof that Earth Crisis has not returned for financial reasons, they simply want their voice heard.

Catherine, Inside Out

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Only a few months ago, it was announced that Catherine’s original vocalist, Brian LeMasters, passed away from brain cancer. This tragic event must have been exceptionally devastating for the members of this Sacramento, California five-piece, but it also sparked a newfound creativity that can be heard on their third album, Inside Out. The riffs are heavier than ever and Nick Bradwell’s vocals exude fevered desperation. This is undoubtedly one of the best releases that Rise Records has put out in the recent past; just listen to the mid-tempo track, “Fair Enough”, if you want your ass kicked.

Listeners familiar with this catchy brand of metalcore will be able to draw comparisons to Underminded, but Catherine has clearly found their own niche. The perfect mix of fury and melody will make Inside Out a summer favorite and the album that listeners associate with the Catherine sound.

– Jeremy Garber


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