Crossfaith—AЯK (2024)

To old Friends and new Beginnings

Six years after their last album release, and following a line-up change, as well as various experiments on how the future of the band should sound like, Crossfaith are finally back with their brand new album, AЯK.
Crossfaith—AЯK (2024)
Crossfaith—AЯK (2024)

2024.06.26 UNFD

01. The Final Call
02. ZERO
03. My Own Salvation
04. God Speed feat. WARGASM
05. Warriors feat. MAH from SiM
07. DV;MM¥ SY5T3M…
08. L.A.M.N. feat. Bobby Wolfgang
09. Night Waves
10. Afterglow
11. Canopus

Said to be “a message of saying goodbye to the past and hello to a new beginning”, according to the band, the theme of AЯK couldn’t be described any better. It is an ode to so many things of the band’s past and offers so many flashbacks hidden in these songs. No matter when you started listening to Crossfaith, you’ll definitely find something that will bring you back to when you first encountered the energy of this unique band. And even if that’s the first record you’re ever checking out by them, I recommend to give their previous albums a listen and find things, that will remind you of AЯK.
Crossfaith AЯK Artist Photo 2024
Crossfaith AЯK Artist Photo 2024
Starting things off with ZERO, the first single and album opener, is a great way to introduce people to the overall Crossfaith experience. It’s loud, energetic, perfect to sing along to, and it really stays in your head. I mean, album openers by Crossfaith are always hilariously good, but I’d put ZERO right next to Monolith or Xeno and I’d be surprised if it won’t become an evergreen they play live. Furthermore, it also stands as an introduction to the overall theme of the album, as they literally take things back to zero.

The first time you’ll really feel like being taken back in time to the origins is with the album’s third track, My Own Salvation. We are not only getting a breakdown, that could be right off the band’s first album, An Artificial Theory for the Dramatic Beauty, with it’s significantly low growls by vocalist Kenta. There are also the iconic techno-synths that defined Crossfaith’s sound especially on their second album, The Dream, The Space,—which still holds up as a milestone in modern Japanese Metal in my opinion. And the overall combination of these two things really take you back to either 2009’s Mirror or Fiction in Hope or Snake Code (Caribbean Death Roulette) from 2011.

Though, what’s even more remarkable about My Own Salvation is how easily it’s building the bridge to Crossfaith’s more Rap-influenced, modern songs, such as Gimme Danger or Destroy from the band’s previous album, EX_MACHINA (2018). Crossfaith are experts in mixing genres together and the entire song is a prime example of that.

Another time this wonderful mixture of genres is shown off is in Warriors, a song with lyrical references to both Crossfaith’s own EP Zion and SiM’s most recent album PLAYDEAD. The track features longtime companion MAH from SiM on vocals, as well as a cut in of SiM’s iconic Reggae tunes.

If these crossovers and throwbacks aren’t enough for you already, I highly recommend to check out the music video for Warriors. Besides featuring a cameo of coldrain’s vocalist Masato, the work also includes various flashbacks to previous music videos, such as for Jägerbomb, Monolith, We are the future, or the band’s first collaboration with SiM in the Red Bull Live on the Road production GET iT OUT from 2016.

You may also be interested in the fact, that the music video was created by another talented companion of Crossfaith: 12 Inch Media, the video production company of Craig Gowans and Scott Kennedy from of Scottish Bleed from Within, a Metalcore band with whom Crossfaith toured during their first time in Europe.

Following up on Warriors is my personal favorite track of the record: HEADSHOT! I’ve been following Crossfaith for nearly 15 years now. And the one thing that I always loved the most about the band is that you can always feel each synth actually being played live—even on the record.

The previous albums, first and foremost EX_MACHINA, sadly lost a bit of that feeling, but AЯK and especially HEADSHOT! brings this back, even in a better way than My Own Salvation. Pairing this with the typical energy-driven Techno-Metal sound of the band makes HEADSHOT! a match made in heaven.

I also want to highlight how amazingly Tatsuya’s drums add up to the synths and carry the overall tone of the song. Though, his best work is definitely on DV;MM¥ SY5T3M…—by far the only song in Crossfaith’s discography that is able to overshadow Countdown to Hell from the album Apocalyze (2013) in both filthiness and heaviness. I am aware that The Perfect Nightmare was once labeled to be the band’s heaviest song, but honestly, DV;MM¥ SY5T3M… really wipes the floor with The Perfect Nightmare.

The last thing I want to talk about is the beautiful ending of AЯK, consisting of Afterglow and Canopus. Both songs are connected to each other. And while Afterglow functions as the grand overture, Canopus simply is Crossfaith’s Magnus Opus. It’s split in two halves. The first works as a kind of coda, referencing something from every aspect of the album. And the second half brings back Afterglow, but this time as a huge and very epic sing-along. But it’s actually the song’s ending that really makes it a cut above the other tracks, as it’s referencing parts of Nostalgia, the album closer of The Dream, The Space.

This probably doesn’t even seem like something huge. But with all the things that happened to Crossfaith prior to the release of AЯK, it really feels like this album was made to celebrate and remember the past one last time, before sailing off into the future for good.

Following a band like Crossfaith for as long as I have really is an experience. It’s an experience that I always wished I could share with other people for a very long time, because Crossfaith simply are an extraordinary band. The way they think of music and the way the write their songs has always been on a level that easily puts them equal to bands such as Enter Shikari or Don Brocco in terms of creativity.

Luckily, Crossfaith made this wish of mine come true, because AЯK is exactly that. It’s covering so many things that are influential, iconic and important for the band, and the amount of things you can find in AЯK is simply amazing. I mean, even now there are still things I didn’t even start to talk about. There is the feature with the amazingly talented duo of WARGASM on Godspeed. Then, Crossfaith also dropped the magnificent synth-pop ballad Night Waves, which is the first of its kind for the band. And not to forget: with L.A.M.N., we also got a feature with Bobby Wolfgang, who is one of UK’s most interesting new comers right now.

This album is a journey in so many ways. It introduces this new chapter of Crossfaith by celebrating so many things that took them to where they are now. It’s by far one of the best thing they’ve ever done. Listen to AЯK. You won’t regret it!

Song Recommendations: My Own Salvation, ZERO, DV;MM¥ SY5T3M…

Picture of Vincent Meißner

Vincent Meißner

Vincent is our library when it comes to most things related to music. He’s always open for new musical input and loves the unconventional as much as he enjoys well-made conventional music. He is writing for EN.CORE ROCKS and recommends fantastic releases through his project VA’s Record Radar!