I haven’t really been reviewing a lot of metal bands on this site in the past while. It’s for no particular reason other than the fact that I feel most metal bands I’m given to review just don’t cut it, or they’re death metal and I’m just not qualified for that. Crossed Fire are my type of metal band. They play groove metal, reminiscent of that of the groove metal made most famously by Pantera. But unlike other groove metal bands, like Five Finger Death Punch for instance, Crossed Fire really hold their Pantera influence on their sleeve on their album Life’s A Gamble.
It’s hard to tell during Life’s a Gamble‘s opening track Roleta Russa because it’s an instrumental and the Pantera influence isn’t so much in their instrumentation. In fact Crossed Fire have their own groove which I think is enjoyable. It the next track Hope Fades Away where we first hear vocalist David Rosa and his vocal similarities to Philip Anselmo. He’s not an Anselmo clone or anything, but I think it’s obvious where he takes his influence from at many points on Life’s a Gamble.
Life’s a Gamble is for the most part filled with heavy groove metal tracks, all for the most part sound different from the other, but are all pretty much aggressive to say the least. They’re all in your face and angry, but the anger doesn’t overcome their sound. Also, most of the songs are short and to the point, almost like a punk song, only there is much more going on in Crossed Fire‘s songs than there is in a punk song. Songs like End of Life, Drinking Club and Scream are all under three minutes in length and get to the point rather quickly.
There are songs with more to say in terms of their ability to structure a song. Black Lightning goes through a few different parts over the course of its three-and-a-half minutes, while Despair, Evolution and Believe in Yourself, for instance, aren’t as fast as most songs on the album and they concentrate more on their groove than their speed.
The two most memorable songs on the album are the title track and Got The Medicine Part I. I can’t really pinpoint why I find them the catchiest. Life’s A Gamble (the song) has some of the better riffs on the album but it lies mostly in the vocals; they found a way to turn harsh vocals such as the ones present on the album and make them catchy. Got The Medicine Part I takes the slower groove portions of the album and structures a well written metal song that holds up surprisingly well.
Crossed Fire end Life’s a Gamble with Got The Medicine Part II. Both parts as a whole I guess make for the album’s finale, which makes for an interesting concept, but where the first part is mostly made up of the slower heavy grooves of the album, the second part is fast. So fast that it doesn’t even pass the two minute mark making for perhaps the most intense song on Life’s a Gamble.
I may not review as much metal albums as I wish I did lately, but the last few metal albums have all been great. Life’s a Gamble is sure to please metal fans, particularly those who fancy groove metal. Crossed Fire have a good thing going. They keep things down to the basics, but show some good song writing enough times to show that they are far more than just a simple metal band, but they don’t over complicate anything either.
“Life’s a Gamble” – I did specify two songs that truly standout on the album, but I choose the title track because it is shorter, staying more true to the short nature of the songs on the album. More importantly however is that it’s the more intense of the two songs, making it more true to the heavy nature of the band, showing that they are not only about heavy grooves but fast intensity as well.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|1||Roleta Russa||Crossed Fire||2:44|
|2||Hope Fades Away||Crossed Fire||2:24|
|3||Black Lightning||Crossed Fire||3:31|
|4||Life’s a Gamble||Crossed Fire||3:59|
|5||End of Life||Crossed Fire||2:49|
|8||Believe in Yourself||Crossed Fire||3:29|
|9||Drinking Club||Crossed Fire||2:51|
|11||Got the Medicine, Pt. 1||Crossed Fire||5:49|
|12||Got the Medicine, Pt. 2||Crossed Fire||1:38|