Slam Dunk North Festival Diaries: Crossfaith

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​The award for the biggest surprise of the day has to go to Japan's metalcore powerhouse Crossfaith. The beauty of festivals like Slam Dunk is that you can just decide spontaneously to drop in on a stage and end up having the time of your life, and that is exactly what happened when I just happened to be strolling past the Jägermeister stage and decided to check out this raucous quintet.

​Early in the day it may have been, but regardless the energy in the air was palpable from the off, and the band's exhilarating mixture of screaming guitar riffs, pounding basslines and thumping electronica undertones meant that it never died down for a single second! Frontman Kenta Koie's relentless interaction with the crowd resulted in some of the fiercest mosh and circle pits of the entire day, and coupled with his powerful clean vocals, even more adrenaline-inducing screams and infectious smile, Crossfaith's passion and energy radiated to even the furthest perimeters of Millennium Square. Blasting their way through a sadly short but utterly blinding set, Crossfaith showed their metal heritage with a cover of The Prodigy's 'Omen', and to the delight of many in the crowd, were joined onstage by Beartooth's Caleb Shomo for the positively whiplash-inducing 'Ghost in the Mirror'. The blazing chorus of 'Kill 'Em All', with its relentless onslaught of layered guitars and crunching bass was lifted by the sliding electronic beats that set alight sparks in the pit of your stomach, and stood out as an especially riot-inducing anthem that set Leeds City Centre ablaze with arms outstretched, fists pounding the sky in unison, the crowd undulating and shifting like the flames of an inferno.

Personally, however, the highlight of the set had to be the moment when the entire crowd, under the fierce instruction of Koie, crouched down low to the ground, and then when the gut-punching bass came flooding back in, the entire crowd rose as one and bedlam ensued as a crowd several thousand strong leapt up and down in unison, inhibitions and worries blasted from their minds!

Crossfaith definitely shook the cobwebs out of the eaves of Millennium Square and proved beyond doubt that the Japanese metal and hardcore scene is most definitely going to be kicking up a ruckus over the coming years with their fiery passion and infectiously rousing sound. They proved that sometimes, spontaneity and deviating from the beaten track can bring dazzling rewards, and though they were a surprise for me and not on my original list of bands to check out, they were the best kind of surprise I could have hoped for!

​Crossfaith's latest release, the 'New Age Warriors Remix'  EP features remixes of all the songs on the original 'New Age Warriors' EP and is available now via UNFD.

Crossfaith Twitter:   @CrossfaithJapan      
Crossfaith Facebook: ​
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