It has been a decent amount of time since 36 Crazyfists have released some new material. Collisions and Castaways disappointed many fans in 2010, leaving many listeners thrown off by their newer mainstream direction. Metalcore will have that affect on a band though, especially with acts such as Miss May I and Killswitch Engage slowly devolving into a less threatening style of sound over time. Five years later, 36 Crazyfists are back with a new album, but the results are worse in every sense.
This four-piece band out of Alaska have a good formula to create music in theory. The lyrics on the record are very personal and pointed; you can feel the hatred, anger, and sadness in many of the tracks to a level that should be effective. The main problems come in though the simplistic lyrics and vocal styling that accompanies the tracks. Between relying on drums that pump limited life into the instrumental and guitar lines that do little more than chugging into nowhere, no level of lyricism can save how boring the album is. Every song ranges from average at best to weak and messy at worst. The vocals are especially problematic. The clean shouts on the various chorus sections on the record sound like a bad radio rock mix and the screams are typical and lack any sense of flare whatsoever. Time and Trauma felt like an early and stale Papa Roach album that features slightly harder riffs.
The best parts of the album are fairly minimal. To hear a band use it’s writing to reveal a part of their souls is a beautiful thing. “Vanish,” “Lightless,” and “Silencer” all have easily related lyricism that is worth diving into, but the mixing and instrumentals derail the tracks into being bland and average. There are even tracks here that sound as if they are Avenged Sevenfold tracks that were left off from newer records, lacking any sense of beauty or intriguing elements.
36 Crazyfists have shown that they can put out a lot better music than Time and Trauma displays. The lyrics can be solid but everything else is completely off balance. The instrumentals lack any dynamism and the vocals are poorly recorded and hard on the ears to take even on a shorter record. It is even harder knowing that Time and Trauma took five years to complete and still seems in shambles.
3. Sorrow Sings
5. Time and Trauma
6. Also Am I
10. Swing The Noose
11. Gathering Bones