Like Sheep Led To Slaughter
~reviewed by Joel Steudler
Yeeagh. This album has my gut twisting in knots and has left me jittery and vaguely uncomfortable. Which is to say, it's pretty great... but may freak you out. Crisis is labelled 'experimental metalcore' in the press release, and that's a better genre name than I can come up with so I'll run with it. Karyn Crisis's decepticon-like voice is constantly morphing from one form to another... from gruff to sweet. From Shredded larynx to creepy whisper. From death blurts to angry yells. It is a devilish gamut she runs.
Ms. Crisis's schizophrenic fits of rage rest atop raw, unpredictable metal the likes of which you have not yet heard, and may not survive listening to. The unprocessed, buzzy guitars give the feel of being in a gritty club where 68% of the patrons are thinking about mugging you, and 12% already have. The vocals shift gears like a junker with a manual-transmission gearbox that randomly jumps every time you hit the gas pedal. Is it deathmetal? Is it doom? Sludge? Hardcore? Grindcore? Sludgegrind? Mudpuddle? Gorefest? I have no idea. I may have made some of those up, but 'Like Sheep Led to Slaughter' is all those and more.
Brutal is what this is. Brutal and kind of scary. Ok, not 'kind of scary' - just plain scary. Especially when Ms. Crisis emits strange yelps and quavering whines that will seperate you and your skin. The rest of the time, she's just downright mean and angry. If you think all metal sporting a female singer is fruity flowerpots and butterflies, you're really in for a life-altering shock. Crisis eats spines like yours for breakfast.
It is a testament to the band's skill that
this album isn't an incomprehensible mess. It is also kind of amazing
that sounds so grating and horrific can be brought together into a grim
sandpaper symphony that will hold your attention the whole way through.
The mostly untapped subgenre-of-a-subgenre that is 'ass-kicking female-fronted
unclassifiable metal' may only have a few members (Cadaveria and Crisis
are the only ones I can come up with) but it is one to watch if you find
entertainment in music that will chill you to your very core and beat you
up while you thaw.
Crisis Official Site:
The End Records: