What can be said about EARTH CRISIS that hasn’t already been said? Since their formation in Syracuse, NY in 1991, these hardcore pioneers have created furious straight-edge anthems, spreading their message of animal and human liberation worldwide. Their music isn’t just unbridled aggression and sing-along choruses, it is a wake-up call to personal empowerment and responsibility that has become the soundtrack to a movement of individuals searching for a straight path amidst a world of chaos. Their politically-charged message has landed the band in magazines and on TV, sharing their views with the world at large. Yet EARTH CRISIS is more than just a message.
Whether you agree with their views or not, one thing that is undeniable is the power of their music. The release of their debut EP All Out War in 1992 was no mere warning shot to the hardcore kids, rather it was a determined bullet fired straight at the heart of the scene. From that point on, hardcore music would never be the same. Seven albums and a pair of EP’s followed, further cementing the band as trailblazers within the genre. It is with that rich history that EARTH CRISIS return with Neutralize the Threat, an album that delivers on their heralded legacy and loudly screams that these innovators are nowhere close to done.
Separating it from its predecessors, Neutralize the Threat is concept album of sorts. It doesn’t follow the traditional arc of opuses like Pink Floyd’s The Wall or The Who’s Tommy, whose central character drives the story along. Rather, the 10 songs that comprise Neutralize the Threat are all linked by a common theme of true-life vigilantism. Guitarist Scott Crouse explains, "Every song is lyrically inspired by real-life vigilante actions that have taken place around the globe. The topics range from The Black Panther Party to Bernard Goetz and we think it's an original lyrical concept for the band, while also retaining some subject matter we are known for dealing with in the past.”
Produced by Chris “Zeuss” Harris, Neutralize the Threat crackles with an anger and intensity that is palpable. Harnessing the best elements from their previous efforts, the album delivers on every level. Crouse explains, “Zeuss is the man and definitely delivered the best sounding record we have ever had! Musically, it resembles the song structures on To The Death, but with a Gommorah's Season Ends vibe thrown in.” “The Eradicators” is a brutal opening salvo, filled with Slayer-esque riffing and Karl Buechner’s urgent call to action, while “100 Kiloton Blast” is a slow, building track that delivers on the power of its namesake.
It has been almost two decades since EARTH CRISIS first burst onto the hardcore scene. Numerous trends have come and gone since minds were first opened to the intensity of their music. While many other bands’ fires have diminished or burned out all together, the flame that fuels EARTH CRISIS still incinerates everything in its path, with a focus and determination that many bands 15 years their junior can only hope to touch. Neutralize the Threat is another bold statement from a band that isn’t afraid to make one, with a message that you can’t ignore.