Album Review :
The Crucified - The Complete Collection

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Band: The Crucified
Album: Box Set-The Complete Collection
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Reviewed by: Brandon Jones

Tracklisting — Look it up — I don’t feel like typing 50+ songs on here

So I’m sitting here just browsing over the cd booklet for The Crucified Box Set, listening to the tunes and I am definitely taken back to a different era. It’s so incredible hearing some of these old songs remastered/remixed like all the tunes from “Pillars of Humanity”, the two final tracks from 93′ as well as the demos songs. The Crucified were true originators in both style and substance. There really hasn’t been another “Christian” band like them to come out and their music has definitely stood the test of time. In today’s scene of crybabies and girl haircuts, it’s refreshing to hear classic music like this rocking my stereo. The Crucified weren’t just a “Punk Band” or a “Metal Band”, they were a rock band with a message, and not just any message. The Crucified carried a message of love in Christ mixed in with socio-political lyrics, waving the banner of Truth clearly along each step of their way. These weren’t wimpy girly men with Vneck shirts and neon accessories, these were men not afraid to rock the stage with aggression and swagger that would put today’s youth to shame.

No, I never got a chance to see this band live, sadly. I had a chance in 1995 to see their farewell show with Mxpx, Focused, and others but I missed out for one reason or another. So in all honesty I can’t really comment on what their live show was like or the intensity of the performance. However, just from glancing at liner notes, reading old reviews on the web and hearing word of mouth back when I was in high school, I got the feeling that they were masters of the genre. What genre were Crucified? Well that’s what made this band so great, they didn’t fit one particular genre or style. Their sound progressed so much from the years of 1984 to 1993 when their last recordings were released. They started out with an old school punk rock sound and slowly evolved into a metal-punk hybrid. I guess you could call it thrash metal but it was closer to punk in the earlier years (KGB Demos, Take Up Your Cross/Nailed).

With “Self Titled” that originally was released in 1989, their sound changed further from Old School Punk to that punk-metal hybrid I mentioned above. The songs were fast and heavy (for the time period) and raging with all kinds of adrenaline. It’s like a straight blast to the skull that leaves you bobbing your head for hours. Stand out tracks from “Self Titled” are “The Pit” “Hellcorn”, “Diehard”, “A Guy in a Suit and the Pope”. This album originally came out in 1989 on Narrowpath Records but I didn’t get into The Crucified until Tooth and Nail re-released in 1994 when I was in high school. I was a late bloomer. Shortly after I discovered The Crucified, I went out and bought “Pillars of Humanity” and jammed that album as well as “Self Titled” non stop for a few years. I actually found a place in Dana Point near where I lived that custom printed Tshirts, so I took down the album cover for The Crucified “Self Titled” and had it blown up and printed on a white tshirt that I wore all over town (I had a pretty killer Unashamed shirt made too). With “Pillars of Humanity” came a more refined sound (and probably a bigger budget than prior releases), this one floats closer to metal than any of their previous albums. Pillars is known for it’s great lyrics and metal mastery. Again, more socio-political lyrics can be found on a Crucified album and this time a bit more daring than in the past. These guys were not afraid of rattling nerves and touching on controversial faith topics that would probably send non-Christians running in the opposite direction.

Here is one lyric from the song “It’s All Bout Fear”..
“From the history books and the twisted schools
We’ve been taught to question you as betrayal
And that you would never think of us as beneath
You, that to challenge you would mean to fail
But hope we’ve received through God and we believe
He remembers the afflicted, His justice will be seen
Thous so many have yet to receive His light
Soon they will know the message of Christ”

I personally love the spoken word intro of the track “Path to Sorrow” . I’m too lazy to type the lyrics so look it up, it’s awesome.

Disc One is basically all Demos, live tracks, their two old school punk albums, and the two best Crucified tracks ever–“Straining Life” and “Power of God”, each recorded in 1993. You could tell by the direction they were taking on those two final tracks that they would have been one of the biggest bands in the music scene had they continued on. Living Sacrifice hit it big in 1997 when they signed to Solid State and released “Reborn” and I feel the same could have been said of this legendary group had they continued to release music. Disc two features the “Self Titled” and “Pillars of Humanity” albums and boy do they sound GOOD with a slight remix/remaster job. The artwork and layout of this box set is top notch with a very informative background on each track/album written by the members of the band. Disc three is the DVD of course and I have not yet taken the time to watch it. From what I’m told, it features nearly two hours of never before seen footage, 20+ songs from various live shows, Plus behind the scenes footage from 1987-1992. I’m a little surprised that no one recorded that final show with Mxpx in 95′, that would have made some good material. Oh well.

Here is the conclusion. I’m left walking away from this album with a reignited soul and more adrenaline than I’m used to. It’s nostalgia looking back at all this old material and hearing these songs again in remastered form. It’s pure joy for me to hear all these classic songs once again and part of it reminds me of a simpler time. I just love this band and I hope they’ll consider recording new songs for this new generation of youth to listen to. The Crucified were true originators in every sense of the word. Live on you legends, and keep rocking for all of us.

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