The beautiful country of Japan is mostly recognised for its prosperous businesses, traditional cultural elements, Mount Fuji, technological advancements, animation, samurais and video games amongst a collection of other fascinating attributes resulting in the nation being such a prominent global attraction. But beneath the surface of this captivating exquisiteness lies a mysterious and almost underground finesse in the nature of the heavy music scene. Beyond the Buddhist temples and picturesque scenery exists a congregation of bands whose talents have become appreciated universally, one such outfit being Osaka’s Crossfaith who have taken the world by storm since the release of their 2012 Zion EP. This year the band has unleashed their third full-length Apocalyze and their lead single’s film clip for Eclipse showcases an insight to Japan and its hidden talent quite proficiently.
“The video did not have anything to do with portraying Japan or any stereotypical cultural values that people might have pre-conceived. The video is about us and the band. The direction we were aiming for was outlining what we are like in real life. What you see is what you get with us and there is no changing that. We aren’t different people when we come off stage. We are the same as we are onstage, just happy to be here and the places we go. We are really glad that everyone likes the new music and the new videos.” Vocalist Koie Kenta explains.
As previously identified Apocalyze is the quintet’s third LP and feasibly their most accomplished release yet. With versatile electronic flourishes accentuating the band’s diverse approach to melodic metalcore, Crossfaith certainly standout from the throng of synthcore acts that are unfortunately humiliating this unique approach to heavy music. Most notably is of course front-man Koie’s lyrical triumph on this record, firstly for creating such meaningful and infectious statements but more importantly, transcribing these in his second language of English. This advancement was overseen and produced by the infamous Machine (Every Time I Die, The Amity Affliction) who also did Crossfaith’s Zion EP.
“I do not want to ruin the album for anyone but there are definitely aspects of instrumentation and song structure which we have not used in the past. Also on this album I spent a LONG time writing the lyrics and really thinking about the messages we wanted to get across. Lyrically this is the best album I have ever written and I am really proud of the way it came out. I also tried some clean vocals on this record which is something we have never done in the past. I really am happy how this came out.”
Koie continues – “We absolutely love working with Machine. He is such a great producer and really pushed the band to levels we never thought possible with our music. The Crossfaith sound is definitely still there and you can notice it is our music but there are so many different elements on this album which are original and carefully thought out. Working with Machine was such a genuine pleasure and he really gets the music and what we are trying to create. He is also the nicest guy ever!”
Another distinguished facet to the new record is the innovation of electronic programmer, DJ and keyboardist Tamano Terufumi’s effort whose genius is thriving throughout the twelve tracks. Incorporating trance and house elements to the sound as well as proving that “Dubstep” can be appreciated (although hard to believe, CF have accomplished this), his undertaking is quite remarkable and without doubt emphasises the all-important party attitude found with the Crossfaith sound.
“We do not write music for other people just because it is a trend. Dubstep is a trend but the music on this album we believe is genre defying. The entire purpose of this album was to blend different sounds to create one original sound which no one has ever done before. I think we have accomplished this. Teru’s (DJ) songwriting is impeccable. His vision for electronic music is something which is absolutely amazing. Our dubstep influence in certain tracks was not deliberate. It’s not typical ‘dubstep’ either as the sound is very melodic as well.”
With the dust just settling and livers only recently recovering from the Japanese outfit’s 2013 Soundwave appearance (the five-piece were identified as Jägercore if you need a hint of their celebration abilities), October will see CF returning to our nation supporting the bigger-than-Jesus experi-metalcore brits in Bring Me The Horizon and California’s Of Mice & Men. This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest tours to hit Australia yet and for these Japanese music samurais who are now no strangers to travelling worldwide, they are brimming with excitement at the prospect.
“Oh you would not believe how excited we are to be touring out there with BMTH. We have toured with them in the UK and spent all summer in the USA with them on Warped Tour. Their band and crew are some of the nicest people around and we are really excited to be out with them again, especially in your lovely country. We have a few more tours as well which is really exciting for us and we are constantly touring with people we admire and consider inspiration for the band.
“‘The world is our oyster’ – that statement could not be more true at the moment. It is so nice to be able to TRAVEL and see parts of the world which we would never dream of visiting. I think we played in over 30 different countries in 2012 and 2013. It really is an absolutely amazing accomplishment for us and something that we are really proud of. Our management team has really been amazing and has pushed the band in all the right directions to make this happen. I mean we have spent three months in the USA this year already as well as playing in places such as Budapest, Slovenia and Italy. These places are such a dream for any Japanese band to play. Thank you all for coming out to the shows and supporting us!”