Originally released in their home country of Japan towards the end of 2018, Crystal Lake have signed a worldwide deal with Sharptone to assist in bringing their style of metalcore to the world. They may be Japanese, but if someone had asked me to work out where they were from I would have guessed New York as these guys are bringing in the anger of hardcore and combining it with frenetic riffing and over the top death combined with pop sensibilities (there’s even finger popping bass at one point) to create something which is obviously connected to the likes of Linkin Park, but is being spread and shifted in many different directions. There are some pretty keyboards, but one almost doesn’t notice them as the brain is being pummelled by the riffs which demands the body to move in response. Played live, this is an album guaranteed to have both the band and the crowd moving as one, a combined sweaty hairy mess.

This isn’t a style of music I normally enjoy, but these guys are taking it in multiple different directions at once and it is impossible not to be infected by the sheer joy, and menace, of what is going on. Singer Ryo Kinoshita is at danger of losing a lung at times, yet he can also be melodic, and one can imagine Slipknot fans also wanting to take this in as they veer dangerously into nu-metal territory and come out unscathed. This is their sixth album, but the first I have heard, and these guys are hitting hard and with the might of Nuclear Blast behind them I am sure we will be hearing a great deal more from them.

Rating: 8/10


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