36 Crazyfists - Bitterness The Star review


23 users:
Band: 36 Crazyfists
Album: Bitterness The Star
Release date: April 2002

01. Turns To Ashes
02. One More Word
03. An Agreement Called Forever
04. Eightminutesupsidedown
05. Slit Wrist Theory
06. Bury Me Where I Fall
07. Dislocate
08. Two Months From A Year
09. Chalk White
10. All I Am
11. Ceramic
12. Circle The Drain
13. Left Hand Charity

Hands up if you remember this Alaskan metal crew; always a band who threatened to break through, 36 Crazyfists hovered around the edges of the big time, generating buzz but never stinging. On their debut record Bitterness The Star, the band make one thing clear; at the minimum they have potential. While that is not to say this is a bad album per se, you can at least hear that there is at least something there in the music.

Much of the reason why the idea of potential swirls in my head is that the songs have all the ingredients to be something great but often they end up falling short. There are exceptionsto be found littered throughout the record, but for the most part the bark is better than the bite.

The main issue is that while the songs have some great riffs in them (usually at the start of the song) they slip into bog standard verses (and sometimes choruses) before picking back up when they bring the riff back. Tracks like "Eightminutesupsidedown" and "One More Word" epitomise this, starting out with good riffs before killing all momentum as they shift into the song proper.

When the band manage to merge a great riff with a great song or just create good songs, they demonstrate what they can achieve when they live up to that potential. Tracks like "Circle The Drain", "Bury Me Where I Fall" and of course, the break out hit "Slit Wrist Theory" show how brightly the band's star could burn when they got things right; rather than being yet another nu metal band, 36 Crazyfists were going to be more than a face in the crowd.

Holt does manage to craft some great riffs for the album; it's just a shame the band did not always compose great songs to house these riffs. Lindow's vocals are probably one of the main things you remember about the band; his voice is as unique as it is strong and capable of conveying emotion.

That said, the band do slip into tedious nu metal on quite a few occasions throughout Bitterness The Star, with "Dislocate" and "All I Am" showing that the band weren't the full article just yet, and "Ceramic" sounding like just about any other nu metal band around at the turn of the millennium. The two bands that do pop into my mind throughout this record are Korn and Alien Ant Farm; while I can't fault the band for wanting to sound like the former, I can't say I'd encourage them to replicate the latter.

Bitterness The Star is an album that could have been great; with the band doing some tweaks here and there and making better use of Holt's riffs, they could have made a breakout hit. That said, the band do give the listener several songs worth listening to repeatedly; well worth returning to this album if you want one of the brighter moments in nu metal.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 01.06.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Hits total: 134 | This month: 6