Crossfade ~ We All Bleed (Eleven Seven Music)
Release date: June 21, 2011
Five long years have passed since Crossfade’s second album Falling Away in 2006, and I forgot how hard these guys can rock. If you are not an avid fan of the South Carolina based quartet’s music, you may only recall the song “Cold”, and you may be surprised that We All Bleed is actually their third studio album. The distance between albums is attributable to a label change; a switch from Columbia Records to Eleven Seven Music. In a sense, We All Bleed is Crossfade’s comeback album.
“Dead Memories” opens the album with impressive, double bass pedal drum work by Mark Castillo and awesome Les Hall guitar riffs leading into Ed Sloan’s melodic chorus. The song is almost reminiscent of an Avenged Sevenfold track – if you were to replace Sloan with M. Shadows, that is.
Next in line is their first single off the album, “Killing Me Inside”, and it packs a punch. The guitar distortion pulls you into the song and guides you through it until the eerie keyboard plays in the end to lead you to the next song, “Prove You Wrong”. This track feels almost like Owl City’s “Fireflies” with the electronic intro, but fear not Metalholics, the chugging guitars and drums kick in not too long afterward, making for a song that seems to be a release for Sloan and a sort of “I told you so” that ends with the familiar electronic beats from the beginning.
The ode to addiction, “Dear Cocaine”, deals with the problems that Sloan has had with drugs. The track sends a strong anti-drug message with lyrics like “Dear cocaine, I’m not your whore anymore.” Sloan’s voice, along with Les Hall’s guitar solos and riffs make for a powerful song.
“Suffocate” comes along next and ends with an epic, 60 second long Hall solo, and this is where I feel that the album starts to get a touch repetitive. The melodies sound the same, the guitars the same, the drums, etc. It also just happens to be the second half of the album, making it feel as if the CD simply recycles itself. As if “Suffocate” is choking the originality out of the album, leaving us gasping for fresh-air.
The balladesque, “I Think You Should Know” is a literal cry for help from Sloan. You can hear the angst in his voice.
The title track, “We All Bleed”, is a bit disappointing. It could be the predisposition that the title track for an album should be unmatchable, but this song just does not cut it. Though it is a good song with a good message to be yourself, the Crossfade boys should have thought of a different title track, as this song doesn’t grab the listener and say “Listen up, damnit! We’ve got something important to say!”
“Open Up Your Eyes” is a great rock anthem, telling listeners that “none of us are alone”. Though there are times when this track does give us that fresh breath of air we’re yearning for, the chorus and some melodies go back to fit the mold of the first five. We All Bleed ends with “Make Me A Believer” which feels to be a 10 minute version of “Dead Memories” thus tying the whole CD together, beginning to end. Unfortunately, it also ties the album into knots and goes back to sounding like the same 5-track disc.
Though some of the songs seem to be clones, Crossfade definitely shows that they are not a one hit wonder with We All Bleed. It is full of hard-hitting vocal messages and plenty of chugging guitars, powerful drums, and even a few clearly audible bass grooves. Perhaps if they’d offered us more than 10 new songs after a 5 year absence it might have added more depth to the album, but in the end it’s simply good to have them back.