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Track Review: Crystal Lake – Aeon

Japanese metalcore isn’t nearly as bad as it might have been.

Kevin Ashley

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Crystal Lake is a band from Kyoto, Japan that plays a mixture of metalcore, deathcore, and hardcore. Though I am no stranger to the extreme end of the punk genre — I like crust/d-beat, hardcore, beatdown hardcore, and grindcore – I’ve never really listened to much metalcore or deathcore. What I have heard of the latter two genres hasn’t impressed me much.

However, I do have some interest in bands on the edge of the genre, such as Beneath the Massacre, Broken Flesh, or Hedonistic Exility.

Crystal Lake consists of Ryo Kinoshita (vocals), Shinya Hori (guitars), Yudai Miyamoto (guitars), and Gaku Taura (drums). Their track, “Aeon,” is from their newest full-length album Helix.

The vocals are typical hardcore-style screaming, mixed with some high growling found in melodic death metal, as well as some deathcore-style low growls. At 0:57, the vocals recall Dogen Kubota’s of Thousand Eyes. Some standout parts of the song are the the technical death metal riffing and blastbeats at 1:11, the heavy beatdown section at 1:49 and the djent riffs and lightning double-bass at 2:20.

The production of the song is great, with the guitars churning out a heavy tone throughout the song, the drums are clear as crystal — pun not intended — and the vocals are upfront but don’t overwhelm the rest of the group. The bass guitar is buried, but that is typical with these kind of bands.

The music video is pretty cool, with nice sci-fi and dystopian imagery. For a metalcore/deathcore track, it’s actually nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. There are good metallic spots and hardcore spots throughout the song, creating a nice mixture. 

Crystal Lake has signed a deal with SharpTone Records and Helix will be released February 15th. 

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Kevin is a senior at Central Washington University majoring in Professional and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Silverdale, Washington, where he explores new food and drink, goes to concerts, and works on personal projects.

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