Spilling with vitriol and open lyricism, Earth Caller's sophomore is a devastating listen and marks Crystal Death as a calling card for melodic hardcore.
Flashback to 2015 and a fresh-faced Earth Caller just dropped their debut metalcore record Degenerate to much hype and acclaim, turning heads with blistering riffs and powerful vocals for venues full of pissed-off kids to scream along to. The band return with their follow-up Crystal Death, and with it, a whole new slab of anthemic hardcore and disgusting riffs as frontman Josh Collard spits and growls, continuing to project his anger outward while simultaneously being more open about his lyrics and personal insights.
Cuts like 'Exposed' and 'No Forgiveness' hit hard with some gutsy breakdowns that lie parallel with Collard's catchy, yearning hooks. Lead Single 'Fall' showcases the band showing a little more moxie in their melodic sound without pulling any punches, as 'Dying Beside You' has some sweetly rationed clean-vocals, among others.
'A Ghost' opens up the record's second half with a sweeping orchestral synth that channels a little in the way of BMTH and cements the band's ability to nail singalong crowd bangers. As introspective as the title suggests, 'Mirror' is championed by stunning lead guitar flourishes and the guest vocals from Taylar Paige on the closer of 'Hold On' syncopate brilliantly with Collard's fiery screams, championing the idea of self-care and worth.
While Crystal Death is notably less politically charged than its predecessor, it envelopes the listener with just as much fire and venom that fans should come to expect from Earth Caller, making for one hell of a solid metalcore package. Even if it treads more personal ground, that doesn't detract from the fact that it'll still make you want to punch a hole in the ceiling.
Dre’s Top Three:
- No Forgiveness
- Dying Beside You
- Hold On