After seeing the video for first single At The End Of August, the new 36 Crazyfists album A Snow Capped Romance admittedly looks promising. And it is . . . kind of.
In all honesty, this is a painfully average record. One of those where it isn't poor enough to be cast away in a cupboard of unloved records, but neither exciting nor fresh enough to capture the interest nor the heart of the listener.
Listening to At The End Of August it feels as if something is severely lacking, and the track packs less of a punch due to the vocals being overwhelmingly loud in comparison to everything else. This seems a shame, because with the bass cranked up a few notches and a bit of feedback from the guitar like at the start of Kenai, this could be a stormer.
The band have followed the melodic hardcore formula to the letter; an equal measure of screaming parts coupled with harmonies carried out more than well enough to add the required variation. While 36 Crazyfists execute their songs with expertise and panache, it is achingly reminiscent of a host of other bands, particularly Poison The Well and From Autumn To Ashes. Bringing something new to the table would no doubt credit the guys with a much less standard album. Maybe I'm being slightly too harsh though; the album does deliver a staple diet of twisted riffs and searing velocity, with a few surprises, such as a mellow interlude.
There isn't anything wrong with A Snow Capped Romance, but at the same time there is nothing to lift it above the depths of mediocre. Fans of hardcore and metal will almost certainly lap it up, but it might not be enough to quench the thirst.
:: Graham Drummond