Japanese metal juggernauts CROSSFAITH will release their new album, "Ex_Machina", on August 3. The disc features lead single "The Perfect Nightmare" as well as cameos from ENTER SHIKARI frontman Rou Reynolds and industrial hip hoppers Ho99o9.
On "Ex_Machina", singer Kenta "Ken" Koie explains: "After we released our last album 'Xeno', we were thinking about what the next theme is for us. We decided on 'awake the individuality,' because we're always trying to make new things and that's a big part of the band's attitude.
"This album is a grave warning for our future. I hope you guys listen to this and think about what the meaning of this album is for you and feel how you feel through this album and start something for your future."
"Ex_Machina" is a concept album set in an alternative near future in which the ruling class, known as Angels, maintain their world through artificial intelligence and other technology, which dehumanises people and effectively turns them into drones — as explained in the opening title track, "Deus Ex Machina".
The other 12 songs featured on the album represent the voice of the resistance — in the form of underdogs known as Demons. Kenta was inspired to include these figures by Devilman Crybaby, particularly on the SLIPKNOT-esque "Catastrophe", the frantic, bloodcurdling "The Perfect Nightmare", and the epic assault of "Daybreak", rather than because they wanted to provide a comment on religion.
"There's no particular religious message," clarifies Ken. "In order to explore the dualism of humans, we decided to include angels and demons, which are opposing elements just like fire and water."
"Angels aren't necessarily good and demons aren't necessarily bad," he explains. "The most important theme is that we should never stop questioning the world around us."
"Ex_Machina" is a relentless album that strives for the listener's attention, and is unquestionably the heaviest that CROSSFAITH have put their name to since forming in their native Osaka in 2006.
Since their inception, CROSSFAITH have been on the edge of a fusion of rock, metal, electronica and big ideas on their albums; and the edge of euphoria with their live shows. "Ex_Machina" is the album on which they walk that fine, fiery line more skillfully and seismically than ever.
"Ex_Machina" track listing:
01. Deus Ex Machina
03. The Perfect Nightmare
04. Destroy (ft. Ho99o9)
05. Freedom (ft. Rou Reynolds from ENTER SHIKARI)
06. Make A Move
07. Lost In You
10. Eden In The Rain
11. Twin Shadows
13. Faint (ft. Masato from COLDRAIN)