Crossfaith – Ex_Machina (UNFD)

Genre: Crossover metal

Crossfaith have always been a band who’ve had big dreams and the execution to go along with that. Their latest album Ex_Machina may be the biggest of the lot, and it’s pulled together flawlessly.

The Japanese mob are electrifying live and this concept album carries that spirit the whole way through it. Set in the future and featuring themes such as the dehumanisation of mankind and resistance towards the ruling classes, Ex_Machina is a lot to take in – and that’s even before you get to the music.

This group have always been an intoxicating mix of heavy genres, and their latest record is one giant melting pot of metal. The Perfect Nightmare leans heavily on their experience of touring with Bury Tomorrow and features distinctly metalcore breakdowns, while Destroy sounds like it could be the poster child for a nu metal revival.

But the glue that holds it together is the fact that this is one kicking mule of an album. Ex_Machina is heavy to the core, and the versatility that frontman Kenta ‘Ken’ Koie brings to this band can’t be understated.

Cameo appearances from the likes of Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari and Ho99o9 bring a delicious side to the follow up to Xeno. Reynolds is pretty much the perfect guest as the song he features on Freedom sounds like it could come straight off his band’s next record.

With everything going on in the background, it takes a fair few listens and a decent amount of brainpower to focus on the words and understand the concept. Perhaps that’s where Ex_Machina falls down. It’s a concept album, but it’s not in your face. You could happily smash your head all day to this without taking in the hidden message, and whether that’s a good thing or not is totally up to the individual.

Frank Turner talks new sonic territory in Be More Kind

But without a doubt this builds on the brand that Crossfaith have already established. It’s heavy, it’s incredibly varied and you just know it’ll sound massive live.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Keep the faith