It's quite uncommon to hear a band hailing from Alaska, yet after hearing 36 Crazy Fists, one can only hope more intriguing metalcore spawns from the area. Bitterness the Star is a thoroughly infectious morsel, and while it may first feel a bit abrasive to the listener's ears, repeat plays will surely hook you with extremely groovy thrash metal. Frontman Brock Lindow's unusual vocal quiver may fool you into believing he can't actually sing, yet in reality Bitterness the Star is full of incredibly emotional singing, as displayed on "Two Months From a Year." The quiver helps 36 Crazy Fists stand out in a sea of faceless nu-metal acts, and Lindow often comes off sounding similar to the likes of Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo or SpineShank's Johnny Santos. Lindow's strong emphasis on vocal hooks firmly plants roots in the listener's brain, and with well-written lyrics one can find themselves singing passages from 36 Crazy Fists' wealth of material quite some time after listening to the album. Carl Severson from hardcore devotees Nora appears on "One More Word," and his outlandish scream intensifies the song quite well. Skinlab's Steev Esquivel also lends his vocal talents to "Bury Me Where I Fall" and helps morph 36 Crazy Fists into a violent heavy metal battering ram of sound. Musically, 36 Crazy Fists are fairly original, and while they may not exactly astonish anyone with their ability, Steve Holt's guitar playing is quite inventive. "Turns to Ashes" is a passionate song that hits the listener like a fist in the jaw, and Lindow's emotional pleading on "Slit Wrist Theory" is moving in its release. "Dislocate" is a spectacular track which effectively burrows its way into your cranium as the slap-happy bass rattles your brain. 36 Crazy Fists deliver on all counts with Bitterness the Star, an album that you may be hesitant to play at first but inevitably will have trouble removing from your stereo.
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AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor