Earth Crisis
To the Death

Despite being world’s apart musically, there is one thing that ties Earth Crisis to the band of one of my previous reviews (Victims’ Killer), this being honesty. It’s a quality that has been apparent in Earth Crisis since their inception, even when they besmirched their legacy musically in 2000 when they put out Slither they maintained some integrity through the message that was still instilled in those songs. Now, I am not going to defend that record even though the message was maintained, and in my eyes, using the argument of saying “as a stand alone record, its not bad,” to me is futile, when you are the forbearers of metallic hardcore and one of the genre’s most important bands in it’s history a choice to put together a record such as that one is inexcusable.

That being said, it wasn’t as bad as St. Anger but that’s a whole other discussion, a whole other argument.

What’s more is everyone deserves another shot and Metallica certainly got theirs. The resurrection of Path of Resistance earlier this decade was more then a positive sign, it was a renaissance of an amazing band from a forgotten era. What they did on Can’t Stop The Truth, showed that there was still fight in the old girl and then some. They not only resurrected that classic sound distinctly but armed it impressively with modern techniques and panache to give it the extra bite and resolve needed to survive in today’s musical climate.

For a long time I dwelled, even dreamed of Earth Crisis doing the same.

In case the penny hasn’t dropped yet, I’ll confess, I am a massive, massive follower of Earth Crisis, the inspired me to be straight edge, vegetarian, even the tattoo on my right arm boasts the immortal wrench and spanner cross, anyway, enough ass kissing, it’s time to get dissecting.

If you never liked Earth Crisis then nothing will change now. To the Death, is a stoic, steadfast and smile inducing platter that satisfies as much as it excites and much like Can’t Stop The Truth, its one that grows potently after each spin. The gears of the musical monolith are tightly locked as pretty much all of the band’s former selves bar Slither, come to the surface. Each era is cleverly mingled so that you can recognize a part that is akin to Destroy the Machines, or Gomorrah Season Ends, but its not a case of regurgitation, its more a point of reference and then taking those elements to blend and build the cast iron wall of sound pounding through the speakers.

A prime example of this cross mingling is Karl’s vocals. Not a single approach is utilised but rather his palette stretches through the ages from the youthful bellow of Destroy the Machines, to the gargling glass shriek of Breed the Killers, so that variety and colour is brought to the pieces. Likewise, the music follows a similar pattern, the omnipotent chug of early Classics such as “Born from Pain,” and “Wrath of Sanity,” clash with the moody atmosphere of “Cling to the Edge,” and “Situation Degenerates,” to create new classic material such as “As Cities Fall,” or “When Slaves Revolt,” but even then its not just a case of taking a and b to create c, there is much, much more at work here.

Of course, an obvious and therefore banal critique would be to attack the band for bringing nothing new to the table, for relying on their former arsenal to sharpen their attack but I still maintain that it’s more difficult to work upon what you already have then to shed your former self and embrace what’s “current.” That’s why Slither, backfired, that’s why it sounds dated and feeble against their older material and ultimately, it’s what caused the band to implode at the time. Therefore it was wise and above all admirable of them to work backwards to go forwards rather then taking what’s current in today’s musical climate and bastardizing their name again.

Say what you will, think what you will, but it cannot be denied that a band as vocal and as brave ethically as Earth Crisis don’t deserve a place in today’s musical climate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
May 18th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Ryan

    this is a good record and Slither was awesome. There was some solid songwriting on that and Karl’s rap parts were sic.

  2. Commented by: xBenx

    Interesting, not found many cats that dug slither.

  3. Commented by: slushhead

    Well, count me among those who liked Slither. In fact, it was, and still is, my favorite Earth Crisis album. This band’s music has never really grabbed me — it has always been and always shall be about Karl’s vocals, and I feel they were at their best on Slither.

    Upon my first sampling of Slither in 2000, I was pissed about the addition of clean vocals. But I soon found the contrast between the clean vocals and harsh vocals to make the latter just that much more biting, intense, and gripping. Slither also had much more variety in vocals, tempo, etc. than any other of their albums, which is a necessity for me in any band I listen to.

    I have listened to To The Death only a few times and, although I’m thrilled the band is together again, I find that this new release is much more basic, simple, and monotonous than I tend to care for. And although Karl is still fierce, he does not sound nearly as ferocious as he did on Slither. Perhaps it’s simply a production thing, or old age, or whatever, but To The Death just doesn’t seem to have the intensity of Slither or Gomorrah’s Season Ends. It really reminds me of Breed The Killers, which I am not too high on. I’m hoping I find more in To The Death as I give it more time.

  4. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    “this is a good record and Slither was awesome. There was some solid songwriting on that and Karl’s rap parts were sic.”

    If that was a joke, then you are brilliant. If not, well…

  5. Commented by: Ryan

    No joke. I like good music and songs, I don’t care about where the music falls genre-wise. Slither has solid songwriting. Some of those parts are insanely catchy.

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