Saint Paul’s The Crinn are the oathkeepers of the waning mathcore scene. Once a large movement, mathcore is now held together by a few acts that maintain the chaotic and technical metal fusion sound popularized by the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and SikTh. Where others have disbanded or taken a detour in sound, The Crinn have fought through a hiatus to deliver an absolute mindfuck of a record earlier this year with Shadowbreather, which Heavy Blog’s own Scott Murphy praised as “an album that places them handily within mathcore’s pantheon and presents one of the most jarring genre offerings in recent memory.”
Below, The Crinn details the formative records that shaped The Crinn’s musical trajectory into dark, odd, and raucous territory.
Cole Leonard (Guitar): My buddy showed me this record when I was 15, before I heard this I was rocking mostly mainstream stuff for metal like Sepultura, Vision of Disorder, and Pantera. I instantly fell in love with it, for me it defines how music can be limitless. The way they seamlessly blend haunting yet beautiful passages with groovy proggy metal riffs while keeping it unpredictable and fun really changed the way I viewed metal . With out a doubt one my biggest inspirations to pick up the guitar and get weird with it.
Chad White (bass): I first saw Godheadsilo opening up for Bad Religion while I was still in high school. They stole the show for me. The space that they created in the venue was intense. The crowd didn’t know what the fuck was going on, but I was amazed at how captivated I was with the power of that single bass guitar. I have been told many times that I play bass like a guitar, and I attribute that in large part to Godheadsilo. Bass doesn’t have to take a back seat, it can and should be an integral part of metal composition. While I’m thankful for the inspiration that I have gotten over the years from Big Business (Grounds for Divorce), Godheadsilo was my first love. Wall of noise? Yes please!
Chris Zugschwert (drums): When I saw TDEP on the Take Action Tour in 2003, I wasn’t very familiar with them at the time. I remember standing in the back when they went on and was immediately in awe. As I walked closer with my eyes glued on Chris Pennie drumming so fast and tight and sounding so clean, it made me look at drumming in a whole new perspective. To play drums with such intensity and speed and still be so smooth and spot on is something I hadn’t really heard before. From that point on I looked at drumming and song writing in general much differently. That show definitely inspired me to think outside the box and experiment with new patterns and off time polyrhythms.
John Nelson (vocals): The band that had the most influence on me and changed my view on heavy music forever was hands down Pantera. I never did get to see them live, being that I was at that age where it was tough, especially being from Northern Minnesota, but The Great Southern Trendkill made me want to be a vocalist.
John Nelson (vocals): For this album though, I knew that I wanted a little more flavor to my voice, and then I heard the Cattle Decapitation album Monolith of Inhumanity. I must have had it in my car CD player for a year, so there is no way it didn’t have an influence on me. Travis Ryan is a beast, and the only vocalist in my mind, that comes close to Phil’s prowess on the mic.
Interested to hear how these influences coalesce? Be sure to listen to The Crinn’s Shadowbreather below, available for purchase at Bandcamp.
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