Earth Crisis – To the Death
Record Label: Century Media
Release Date: May 5, 2009
As you can tell by the incredibly innovative album title, Earth Crisis have really stepped out on a limb with this recording, attempting to create an altogether new type of music that both perplexes and challenges its peers. Just kidding! To the Death is Earth Crisis at their most Earth Crisis-sounding… which is to say, there is almost no point in reviewing the album (but I will anyways.)
As usual, Earth Crisis is a band that’s got the potential for a really solid metal album, but they show off that muscle only a few times. “So Others Live” is vintage Slayer, and if the whole album followed this tempo and riffing style, we’d have ourselves a real keeper. Instead we have to settle for Zao at best (“To Ashes”) and, well, Earth Crisis at worst (most other songs.) The whole second half of the album sounds like one big boring track, very much due to the monotonous vocals and the slow indistinguishable thrash riffs that never seem to go anywhere.
Not much has changed in the lyrics department either. These didactic, beyond-preachy hymns to the joys of not eating animals are admirable in that we respect people with the willpower to live the vegan lifestyle, but the shouting breakdown refrain of “Veeeegan! For life! Veeeegan! To the death!” in the title track has way too much cheese to truly fit the diet – exactly like the “I! Am! Straight edge!” breakdown in “Gomorrah’s Season Ends” 13 years ago, and 7 million other breakdowns. The point is driven home by the PETA2 ‘Meat is Murder’ sticker that comes with every album, more evidence that these guys might be happier putting out pamphlets than albums. It might give them more space for artistic experimentation. Ho!
Overall, the reunion of Earth Crisis in 2008 is understandable when you consider the resurgence of popularity in a field of music they helped create, and I could get all cliché and say, “Who doesn’t need the money right now?” But just like a lot of pseudo-metal groups out there, it’s really, really time to move on.
yea, this album is not really that good, but overall I always gotta give a nod to them for what they helped create, especially since they formed 18 years ago and their older albums are still relevant musically today.
I'd definitely disagree on parts of this review. Lyrically, they tackle some issues that they have never touched on before. For example, drug cartels and drunk driving. There are new areas where Earth Crisis hasn't really explored before, but deep down in the core, they are the same vegan and straight edge band that gained so much attention in the 90s. Earth Crisis has always been very supportive of pamphleting and organizations that follow similar political and moral interests that Earth Crisis does. For anyone who has more of an appreciation of hardcore and would rather get concrete comparisons rather than this interview, I'd say this album is in the vein of Destroy The Machines and Breed The Killer.