36 Crazyfists- The Tide and its Takers

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, July 18, 2008

Alaskan metalcore band 36 Crazyfists has been making a name for themselves since 1997, having been on labels such as Roadrunner and DRT. Now calling Ferret Record their home, the group is on their fifth full length album The Tide and its Takers. Offering both the band’s heaviest and lightest songs to date, this album also sees them taking a turn towards the mainstream that may help their fan base to diversify but isn’t likely to win them any awards for originality. It’s both a step forward and a step back, and this unfortunately hurts the overall effect of The Tide and its Takers on listeners.

Whereas the vocals previously had a sense of frantic urgency to them, this time around they seem more restrained and have less energy than fans may be used to. The reason for this is partly because there is even more clean singing than before, making 36 Crazyfists both a metalcore and alternative metal band. Not only that, but the screaming itself feels subdued and often feels like a prelude to the clean choruses that are in many of the songs. This isn’t to say that the singing is bad, but fans that are used to the overwhelming heaviness that this band once offered may be disappointed by their decision to go for mainstream melodies.

It is likely that though some listeners will be disappointed by the new direction of the vocals, that they will still be able to get into this album thanks to its instrumentals. Although they are admittedly very similar to everything else that is currently in the metalcore genre, there is a nice balance between melody and heaviness. 36 Crazyfists does offer up some interesting melodic riffs along with the heavy ones, and there is plenty of variety throughout the course of this disc. It will be hard to tell whether the riffs are more memorable than the ones on the band’s previous albums, but as a whole fans should still be able to appreciate them.

The Tide and its Takers sees 36 Crazyfists moving more towards mainstream alternative metal, for better or worse. This release could definitely alienate some of their established fan base but also could get them plenty of new ones. But as a whole, the album feels a little lacking in energy and is likely to be remembered down the road as a release that saw the band transitioning from one style to the other rather than a definitive representation of that style. This isn’t a must have album (even for fans of the group), but it isn’t the worst we’ve heard in this genre either.

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