Despite the state of today's tumultuous world, the Alaska-bred, melodic metal band 36 Crazyfists are inspired to look beyond the negative and aggressively emphasize the positive. They are able to distance themselves from the pack by never resorting to stereotypical metal rage while maintaining their heavy roots. Whether front man Brock Lindow addresses road fatigue, self-worth or accountability, the music is fueled by a contagious enthusiasm and optimism in the face of frustration. The band's third album Rest Inside The Flames is a record of this and comes across as an energized batch of modern anthems built upon a pyre of swarming emotions, stomping, surging rhythms and vocals that seesaw between scathing rage and melodic regret. And the band's universal, contemporary sounds are earning them an army of fans across the world, especially in Europe, where they have been embraced by thousands of people, playing main stages at some of the biggest rock festivals on the continent. It's easy to see why.
Rest Inside The Flames offers a fresh take on aggressive music that simultaneously revels in strength and vulnerability, while carving a path of self-reliance and personal expression as wide as an ocean basin. "I'll Go Until My Heart Stops" begins with a barked verse that builds into a climactic roar before leveling off in a contagious chorus. "Elysium," is a colossal slab of brutality filled with dense, chugging breakdowns, yet buoyed by unexpected blasts of melody. And "The Great Descent" opens with a plangent guitar arpeggio and pain-stricken vocals before building into a hailstorm of slamming beats and angular riffs. In addition to being more lyrically revealing the album is also more musically developed and heavier than their previous work. "There's a lot more double-bass than before and a lot more mosh parts," Lindow says. "We've always been pretty heavy live, but it hasn't really translated on record before. So, with this one, there was more of a focus to make sure the songs would rock as hard on the record as they will in concert." A perfect juxtaposition to the thematic heaviness of some tracks, "Aurora" is about the magnificence of the Northern Lights and how they reflect the magic of love and life. "On Any Given Night" addresses the quest to stay upbeat when thousands of miles away from friends and family and "Midnight Swim" is about having the strength to take advantage of second chances. "We live in a country where you can chase your dreams and have more than one chance to make them happen," Lindow says. "The song is about the people who chase dreams and the journey that goes along with that."
36 Crazyfists started working on Rest Inside The Flames in February 2005, less than two months after they stopped touring behind A Snow Capped Romance. By September they had most of the songs written and in October they entered the studio with producer Sal Villaneuva, who has worked on albums by bands like Thursday and Taking Back Sunday. Lindow says. "He is very melodically in tune, but he also knows how to get killer metal tones, so it was awesome working with him." While the sessions were long and sometimes grueling, the band generally enjoyed the recording process -- especially when friends came over to help them out. Former touring partner and Killswitch Engage singer Howard Jones fulfilled an old promise to collaborate with the band by adding guest vocals to "Elysium" and Only Living Witness singer Jonah Jenkins pitched in on "We Cannot Deny." "Only Living Witness was one of our favorite bands growing up, so we really wanted him to be on the record," Lindow says. "Over the years, I made friends with him online, which is a little weird. But he lives in Boston so he came down to New Jersey when we were recording, and that was awesome."
Formed in Anchorage, Alaska in 1994, 36 Crazyfists named themselves after a Jackie Chan film, and immediately created a buzz coming out of the frigid scene. When their original bassist died in a car accident in 1996, they moved to Portland, Oregon and persevered. They soon made friends with propulsive thrash band Skinlab, who passed their demo to the A&R department at Roadrunner Records. They were signed in 2000 and immediately entered the studio to work on their debut album Bitterness The Star which came out in 2002 established the band as a powerful new force. Lindow grew up quite a bit since then and his new lease on life shone through 36 Crazyfists' 2004 album A Snow Capped Romance, which showcased positive lyrics with accompanying heartrending melodies that shared elements in common with emotionally expulsive performers like Thursday and Thrice. The band supported the disc on tours with Killswitch Engage and Poison the Well and remained on the road until December 2004. A month later, the band started writing songs for Rest Inside The Flames. From the ominous arpeggios and ecstatic, distorted ring of "Felt Through a Phone Line" to the skewed chug and harmonized chorus of "On Any Given Night" to the tumbling beats and barbed licks of "Midnight Swim," 36 Crazyfists gives a new twist to familiar themes and leaves listeners energized with fists clenched. "We have fun making music and I think that comes across," concludes Lindow. "Hopefully, at the same time, we can connect with people and help them deal with whatever's going on in their lives so they can have a good time as well. That's what it's about for me, trying to connect with people and hopefully everybody's enjoying themselves and having a good time."