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Crossfaith: Zion EP

Techno-metal scene-stealers mark their turf

To call Crossfaith a ‘buzz band’ is a bit like calling Marmite a tad divisive, but the fact is that the Japanese five-piece have taken modern metal’s more recent flirtations with electronica and dance and channelled them to earn a deserved reputation as the best live band on the planet in 2013.

Thus, it’s almost impossible to review this latest EP without referencing their live show (which we just did and so have totally failed already. Whoops). Luckily, as it happens, Zion is a startling piece of work on its own merit, too.

Monolith sets the tone flawlessly, melding high-octane, techno-friendly keyboard flourishes that wouldn’t be out of place on a Mash Up Euphoria mix (look it up) with groove-heavy metalcore and dubstep-led breakdowns, before the ludicrously energetic Photosphere sends the EP into orbit with an emphatic mixture of weighty, crunchy heavy metal riffage and a chorus line that sounds like it was taken from a DJ set in a warehouse rave in 1997.

Party anthem-in-the-making Jägerbomb and death metal-dabbling number Quasar both throw (marginally) more emphasis on riffs and guitar-driven hooks, before electronic interlude Dialogue buggers up the balance once more, leaving crushing closer Leviathan to mop up the remains with more massive riffs and more inexplicably catchy keyboards. Go see Crossfaith, listen to Zion, then go see Crossfaith again. And bring glo-sticks.

Merlin Alderslade

Metal Hammer editor Merl heads up the world's biggest metal brand and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.