Crysis are a five piece metalcore band from Oxford and within seconds of hitting the play button on their debut EP ‘Insane’, they’re ready to hit you with their musical juggernaut. The three songs are loaded with plenty of heavy riffs, but looking at the harsh black and white artwork and band name, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.
Kial Churcher’s hardcore/melodic death metal growling isn’t always especially to my taste, but his delivery – a mix of DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara and the more exteme end of Pantera’s Phil Anselmo – comes with a great intensity that’s so perfectly suited to the musical arrangements. Across the three featured tracks, the band proves themselves to be consistently tight musicians, particularly the work of drummer Matt Pledge.
‘Your Temptation’ opens with a thrust of drums and a huge growl from Churcher, against which the guitar riffs have an edge. The slow moments during the end of the chorus have some serious bottom-end; following which, guitarists Josh O’Brien and Shaun Linstead turn in some great solo work. In terms of shredding, this is certainly the EP’s best moment. ‘To The Gallows’ opens with a lighter groove, which once Pledge’s drums kick in, has an oddly bouncy quality. The main part of the track is driven by a hardcore metal riff, its sound like a cross between Lamb of God and ‘Far Beyond Driven’ era Pantera. Of the three numbers, this shows Crysis at their strongest, particularly during a mid section which briefly slows things down with a doom laden riff, which in turn becomes a full-on chug-fest. A second clean, almost spoken vocal makes a brief appearance, and in doing so provides a little variety. Pledge’s double bass work is hard and relentless, driving things forward before returning to the original riff.
‘Shoot The Glass’ naturally follows a similar pattern of chugging metal riffs, but here there are traces of Pantera at their absolute heaviest, circa ‘Great Southern Trendkill’. Churcher’s vocal rarely breaks beyond a full-on growl, but once again, it’s perfect for the job in hand. There are a few solid features within this number, but it’s the grinding, power-groove inspired guitar work around the three minute mark which really stands out. Behind the double bass drums which follow, there’s a return to the really old-school riff which opened the number. It sounds a little like Iron Maiden’s ‘Prowler’ – but while this is a very serious sounding track, I’d like to think the band threw this one in with a knowing wink.
‘Insane’ presents a trio of solid numbers which highlight Crysis’s ability as musicians. While this recording may not have as much bass as a full-scale expensive, professional recording, it sounds like they know their way around a recording studio. If you’re a fan of this style of metal, you could do far worse than check them out – though naturally, if metalcore isn’t your bag, Crysis are extremely unlikely to do anything for you.