Decyfer Down - 'Crash'

|PIC1|At times Decyfer Down must have felt that their life was like that of a modern day Job. The band had to deal with two robberies involving their equipment, along with a bad accident involving the band's tour van going off the road during an icy snowstorm. The band's van, with their equipment trailer in tow, hit a parked car, slid across three lanes on the highway, and ended up smashed again the guardrail.

The accident shook up the band, even making them wonder if this was really what they were suppose to be doing. Thanks to the Internet and a large outpouring of love and well wishes though, in response to a posting that the band had placed on their site about the accident, they decided that it really was what they've been called to do.

Decyfer Down's new album 'Crash' ties in with all that the band has had to overcome. With them learning that it's not the bad things that happen in your life that shapes you, it's how you respond to them, the need to take control over bad situations, instead of letting them control you.

Decyfer Down first hit the Christian rock music scene with the release of their debut album, 'End of Grey.' With that release the band quickly established themselves as a hard driving Christian rock band. So expectations for 'Crash,' their sophomore release, were very high.

'Crash' has had a hard time though even seeing the light of day, with several official release date changes. All of those delays even resulted in a 3-song EP version of the album being released. Finally on May 5th the full-length version got released to the general public.

You'll notice several changes from the band's first release to this one. The most notable is the absence of band front man Caleb Oliver, who left the band due to personal reasons and has been replaced by TJ Harris. Also while the band still offers up a lot of driving guitar and drum filled music on this new release, they also show a new more mellow side on several of the tracks. Don't get me wrong this release isn't going to put you to sleep; even the more melodic tracks still have some kick found in them.

The band's decision to change from a full frontal guitar assault style of rock music to a more mature sound has seemed to polarize the band's followers. Early word from the band's fans is that they're either really loving the changes or totally hate them, with no middle ground found.

Personally I still found enough hard driving rock music, complete with explosive guitars riffs and pounding drumbeats, to keep me happy. Tracks, like, "Crash," "Desperate," and "Over My Head," rock it out. My favorite track is, "Crash," the band really rocks it out big time on this song.

From the more melodic tracks I liked the passion filled ballad, "Moving On." I also liked the final track, "Forever With You," that opens with some heavy guitar and drum parts and then settles in to a mixture of both melodic and rocking styles.

The guy's credits bands like P.O.D., Switchfoot, and Flyleaf for helping to inspire them. I could really hear the P.O.D. (especially from P.O.D.'s early releases) influence in the guitar parts on several of the tracks found on 'Crash.'

The band also called on well-known producer Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Saliva, Sister Hazel) to handle production duties on the album.

When asked about working with Ebersold band drummer Josh Oliver said, "The results are some of the hard rock stuff and some of the more ballady stuff, but it's all stepped up into a new level of artistry for us. Paul really stretched us and helped take our musicianship and songwriting to the next level."

While the band's move to a less all-out rock style might cause the loss a few of the band's fans, I think that the new ones drawn to it will help to keep the band in a good position to grow and continue making music for a long time.