Review: “Riptide” by Crest

If you ever needed proof of Darwinism you only need look at the evolution of Turku, Finland’s Crest, the Worlds first Hawaiicore band. They started from humble beginnings in 2015 and unveiled a debut EP in “Backbone” in 2016 as a Metalcore act before taking a new approach with new vocalist Mano Mannila in 2019 with a string of standalone singes taking them to the here and now. Joining him are guitarists Juuso Javanainen and Tero Loponen, drummer Eepi Karppinen and bassist Teemu Lehtonen, begging the question, what does Hawaiicore sound like?

If this was an Alestorm record, Pirate themes would be plastered all over it in a tongue in cheek humour kind of way but here the Hawaii themes are surprisingly absent given the bands mission statement, which isn’t necessary a bad thing. “Aloha” starts the process with Progressive Metalcore riffs and contrasting clean and unclean vocals layered up to almost give the impression of an echo before a funky mid section and some scintillating leads find the band in Periphery territory. Odd time signatures give us the riffs of “Tiger Stripes” which has a few Destrage leanings before a glorious melodic mid section with harmonic clean vocals gives a gentle breeze. Mosh riff bounce follows with that DJent style that we all know and love and as solid as it is, it kind of makes you wonder why the band have seemingly restricted the Hawaii themes to visuals and song titles because the opportunity is there, however not doing so means they have broader appeal and aren’t simply a novelty act. “The Wave” then brings some more melodic power, in a cigarette lighter waving festival crowd feeding moment with delicate hints at the bands heavier side cleverly placed in the background and an eccentric solo. It’s a real showcase of the bands abilities to twist and contort their sound with heavy and melodic elements intertwining with consummate ease, the musicianship matching the vision.¬†Crest leap from the melody to the ferocious in “Hempen Jig Jive“, a personal cut that finds Mannila venting his spleen with touches of late Nu-Metal in dirge laden riffs and thunderous power, something that seems left field given the earlier tracks but is still stolid and well thought out. That style continues into grand finale “Slumberland” which brings back the bounce before mellowing out into that familiar melodic pattern. So what does Hawaiicore sound like? Well on “Riptide” it is very much Progressive Metalcore [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. Aloha
  2. Tiger Stripes
  3. The Wave
  4. Hempen Jig Jive
  5. Slumberland

Riptide” by Crest is out 18th November 2022 via Inverse Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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