Crisix, Spanish thrashers, used to be called Crysys but apparently were forced to change their name by EA the publishers of the computer bench testing franchise…er… computer game franchise of the same name. Which is kinda fun in a Sarah Tipper ‘Eviscerated Panda’ way. Actually one of the problems of reading those Sarah Tipper books is when listening to thrash you catch yourself asking “What would Eviscerated Panda do?” Probably have changed their name to something like Crisix actually…
Second album in, you might have guessed from the album title that either something was lost in translation or these guys have a nice sense of humour. Thankfully it’s the latter; their English is fine thank you very much. The opener ‘IYFF’ (go on, guess what it stands for) is a nicely boisterous bit of fast chugging, gang vocal heavy, growled screamed and snarled lead vocal thrash. It’s loud (duh!), chunky and despite being a bit obvious really has an immediate charm about it; some character, if you like. Yes it is fairly traditional in sound but it also has that bounce and energy that only comes with a bunch of metalheads having a ball. It also has just about the perfect production from Eric Rutan: Big, bright, punchy and death metal solid without losing the quintessential total thrash sound.
I guess their sound would be best described as traditional, though nicely modernised thrash metal with that earlier 3 Inches Of Blood approach to melding in heavy metal twin guitar riffs on occasion and thunderous bass driven drumming (which, glory be, do not sound over -triggered). This is jeans and hi-tops not shorts ‘n’ hardcore with maybe a pinch of death. Light the Iron Maiden blue touch paper and stand well back.
The title track is heavy on the 3 Inches Of Blood ‘Advance And Vanquish’ era, which makes you wonder at that title once more, but is none the worse for it and has some fine variation in both tempo and vocals.
Subject wise, the guys range far and wide from social injustice (‘One By One’ with its superb, rolling speed metal thrash riff and drum battery), personal issues (the huge angry stomp of ‘These Voices Shall Remain’), horror films and boomsticks (the slower kinda brooding ‘Army Of Darkness’), manga (the Dragonball Z inspired ‘Frieza The Tyrant’ and it’s great imperious refrain) teenage acne (the mad scrambling and squeaky voices of ‘Volcano Face’) comics (a growling, rumbling Wolverine with a lovely drum and bass spine in ‘Scars Of The Wolf ‘) and to delivering pizza (the brilliantly silly ‘Waldi Gang’ with added harmonica). They even make a damned good stab at the ‘Ace Of Spades’ cover.
Tight as the Spanish economy when it comes to helping youth unemployment, energetic as teenagers on Red Bull and alcopops, Crisix can genuinely put a grin on your face even on a truly shit day (and trust me I was having clusterfuck days the second through fourth plays through). Pure bad diet and pop culture big grin fun with still an eye looking out onto the real world.
This is the soundtrack to your next house party. And for goodness sake someone get them a cheap flight so they can play somewhere like Damnation. If they can translate this live, they’ll be a blast, a spray of beer and a juicy slice of pizza. Best thrash album I’ve heard in ages.
Oh and I’d really encourage them to write at least a couple of songs in Spanish. The rhythm of the language is truly brilliant for thrash…