Kenta ‘Ken’ Koie Vocals | Kazuki Takemura Guitar | Hiroki ‘Hiro’ Ikegawa Bass | Terufumi ‘Teru’ Tamano Keyboard | Tatsuya Amano Drums
Crossfaith have shown the world time and time again that they are the most unique and exhilarating of bands, and with this year’s universally acclaimed new album XENO they cemented their place at future-rock’s top table.
Produced by Josh Wilbur (Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb Of God, Hatebreed) and mastered by Ted Jensen, XENO took the groundwork laid by 2013’s APOCALYZE and 2012’s ZION EP as well as the band’s vast touring history and catapulted them into a whole new league. But it was almost a very different scenario entirely.
At the end of last summer, after a gruelling festival run, Kazuki confided in Ken that his hand felt slightly weird and he wasn’t comfortable playing guitar. He had, it transpires, suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and the issue with his hand was a minor manifestation of a deeply serious problem. “He was,” admits Ken grimly, “very lucky. We all were. We thought the band was finished, and this was the worst thing that had ever happened to us.”
But because Crossfaith’s never-say-die attitude runs through his veins – in this case, a little too literally – Kazuki steamed through an intensive course of physical rehab that, helpfully, involved playing a lot of guitar. At this point, after working through Vanguard and the thrilling Ghost In The Mirror (on which Caleb Shomo from Ohio breakout rippers Beartooth guests), Teru told Kazuki that he had an idea about a character called Xeno. Or rather two characters.
But even the craziest story needs to be told the right way, and so Crossfaith set about writing their best and most accomplished album yet. And throughout Xeno all shades of human life are rendered: Paint It Black deals with gleeful revenge, Wildfire (enlivened by the exhilarating Benji Webbe from Skindred) is all parties and serotonin peaks and the colossal Tears Fall speaks of love and loss with the deftest of touches.
ACCOLADES FOR ‘XENO’
- Awarded 6Ks out of 5 – Kerrang! Magazine