I know I’ve said it before but thrash is the reason I got into metal. I’m a product of my times and, in those times, thrash reigned in blood. It was the good ole days of thrash. The kind that you could pump your fist to and scream with. It was the kind that made you want to punch your steering wheel and it was the fuck-you-all soundtrack to everyone that gets in your way. For me, in particular, it was something that brought me closer to my brothers and something that got us all through some dark shit. A pissed-off song helps clean the poo off the fan and a thrash show is where you let it all go. While I like many of the rethrash bands currently in the scene (Warbringer, Power Trip, Reign of Fury—to name a few), few bands have the energy and in-your-face attitude of the original scene. Spain’s Crisix don’t appear to write the hefty stuff, with smirks on their faces and whoopie cushions under their asses, but these guys can fuck shit up. Two years ago, these sonsabitches fell from the sky and roundhouse-kicked me in the nuts. And now they’re back to sac-tap me once more with Against the Odds.
The things I love the most about Crisix are their aggression, tight guitar work, and absurd lyrics. They’re crass with huge balls. You know a song like the face-hugging “Xenomorph Blood” can’t be all bad based on the title alone. I mean, who does that? Not to mention the Dragon Ball Z-inspired “Prince of Saiyans” and closer “The North Remembers.” There aren’t many bands that could pull off a song based on Game of Thrones. But, not only did they pull it off, it’s one of the best songs on the album.
Beyond the silly gimmicks, “Xenomorph Blood” has the sickest licks of the record. After some classic, blistering-fast Exodus riffage (and a journey into the hopeless world of deep-throating alien impregnation), the song shifts gears into the heaviest riff of the band’s career. After the band lends their full-chested gang shouts to its heft, it’s hurdled into a massive breakdown that’s sure to set this year’s pits on fire. Right up there is the hilarious opener, “Get out of My Head.” This one is a true anthem for all grumpy metalheads who hate mainstream music. It has a catchy chorus, a killer mid-song divebomb, and it sets the tone of the album perfectly.
But, the songs that keep me coming back for more are “Perseverance,” “Leave Your God Behind,” and “The North Remembers.” Like “Xenomorph Blood” and “Get out of My Head,” “Perseverance” is a mortar-cracker. It alternates between fast and mid-paced riffage, has an anthemic thrash chorus, and its mid-song breakdown is only trumped by its acidic counterpart. It’s short, sweet, it says “fuck” a whole lot, and it packs a ton of punch. Just as addictive, but from a more-melodic point-of-view, is “The North Remembers.” It opens with nifty licks, timed perfectly over both one another and the vocals. After its opening build, one of the more hooking choruses springs upon you. Of all the songs on the album, this one was born to close it out. And the classic At the Gates-ish hammering of “Leave Your God Behind” rounds out the trifecta. It has plenty of nods to Swedish melodic thrash scene—not to mention its mean-as-fuck attitude—and a full-band shouting match that makes it a unique piece.
The workplace rant, known as “Cut the Shit,” also sports those interesting big-band shouts. Just don’t go barking them out at your boss and coworkers tomorrow. Unfortunately, this one is a touch too goofy and it’s punky, upbeatness makes it an odd addition to the bunch. And, after introducing it alongside “Xenomorph Blood” and “The North Remembers,” “Prince of Saiyans” doesn’t have a lot of depth to its melodic pool. If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball Z, maybe you’ll get more out of it than me.
That said, nothing on this sweet, thirty-six-minute record is filler—even if some songs are stronger than others. It’s packed to the brim with the kind of piss and vinegar I dig from a thrash record and it concludes before it becomes a burden. To these ears, Against the Odds is right on par (if not a touch higher) than 2016’s From Blue to Black. Which means fans should check this out because it’s sitting on top of this year’s thrash list.