In the realm of death metal, when one starts to talk tech, one usually thinks about taking ridiculous octopus riffs into the realm of 350bpm. It’s music that often sounds like a calculator working overdrive. It’s not a universal truth, but Mexican death dealers CRS are here with their new album The Collector of Truths to remind us that tech and groove can be plenty intertwined.
CRS, or Cirrosis, originally formed in 1991 and didn’t release a full-length until 1999, Reciclando Desesperación. In fact, with only three releases to their name, the CRS catalog is pretty small. But this is another case of quality over quantity, and fast forward twenty years, and CRS have returned without losing an iota of momentum.
The Collector of Truths might throw some off from the beginning. It’s not a very fast album as evidenced by the opener “Asfixia.” One might think that’s a knock against it, but it’s actually not. Settling on a groovier, more melodic feel rather than opting for sheer speed, CRS focus on complex rhythmic structure. “Asfixia” is plenty catchy and heavy, but it’s not a straightforward song.
Where this album shines the most is in its flow. Throughout its eight tracks, CRS manages to build momentum song after song. There are fast parts and great guitar solos aplenty. However, CRS never slip on their songwriting. It’s an album that’s just always in that groovy death zone. Even when tracks like “The Daydreamer’s Nightmare” takes us into a spaced-out, relaxed solo or others like "The Art of Breathing", that takes the album down a notch, CRS really lose nothing. They manage to bring a lot of out of their sound. Hell, "A Better Place to Hate" and " “Tan Lejos de Dios (Nowhere.. But Here)" both have some tasty, thrashy bits to open them up.
Additionally, there’s some great guest work on the record as well. Drummer Kevin Talley (ex-a-ton-of-death-metal-bands-but-to-name-a-few: Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Decrepit Birth, current: 13 Dead, Embrace The Dawn, Martyred) lends his talent to “A Better Place to Hate,” “Tan Lejos de Dios (Nowhere.. But Here),” as well as “I’m the Universe.” Meanwhile, Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Ilusen's Fallacy, Alkaloid) lends his bass skills to more ambient “The Art of Breathing.”
The Collector of Truths is another fantastic comeback record for a death metal band. And if you hadn’t heard of them previously, now is as good a time as any to get into the groove. There’s no school like the old school, and CRS prove that once more. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait twenty more years for a follow-up.
- All songs written by CRS
- All songs performed by CRS except where guest musicians are noted
- Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Francisco “Chucky” Oroz
- Album Artwork by: Tony Sandoval
- Photography: Carlos Hermosillo