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Earth Crisis

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Earth Crisis' chugging riffs and barked declarations served as the mouthpiece of America's militant vegan straight-edge movement throughout the '90s, detailing the ideas of animal and human liberation, drug-free living, and personal empowerment through hardcore song. The vegan straight-edge movement spawned activists who took the law into their own hands, burning down fur farms and freeing animals directly. Earth Crisis began as the brainchild of Karl Buechner -- who intended to play bass -- and his friend DJ Rose. The lineup eventually solidified with Buechner on vocals, Ian "Bulldog" Edwards on bass, guitarist Scott Crouse, drummer Mike Ricardi, and a guitarist named Ben. This lineup began playing around Syracuse, spreading the message of veganism and the drug-free lifestyle previously preached in the hardcore scene by Vegan Reich, Statement, and Raid. Earth Crisis crafted a five-song demo and sent it to the label that had released those bands' records, Hardline. But with that label on hiatus, they decided to release their first EP through a local friend's imprint, Conviction. All Out War came out on 7" single format, with the band embarking upon their first U.S. tour in support of it. Drummer Dennis Merrick -- who would become almost as important in shaping the band's political ideology as Buechner -- came aboard around this time as Ricardi was unable to commit himself to touring. The interest that built up in the hardcore scene around the band, along with a new demo, brought Earth Crisis to the attention of Chicago's Victory label and a deal was signed. Earth Crisis set about making their first EP for the label; Firestorm was a landmark release for the hardcore scene that combined staccato, solo-free metal with barking, political, and militant vocals. The lyrics centered around the dangers of drug abuse and bringing "violence against violence" to drug dealers and those who would abuse animals: "a firestorm to purify." The Earth Crisis phenomenon was now in full swing, but Ben was asked to leave the band and was replaced by guitarist Kris Weichman. The group next crafted their debut full-length album, Destroy the Machines, which was released in 1995. Victory also secured the rights to All Out War, reissuing it on CD, 7", and cassette format. The band traveled to Europe, where they were amassing quite a dedicated following. Earth Crisis set about touring the States again as well, first with Guilt, Ignite, and Damnation AD and next supporting Shelter. While on tour in the northwestern United States, they were involved in a serious van crash that hospitalized Merrick for some time. While home recuperating, the rest of the group -- together with Rose, Ricardi, and another friend -- made a project album under the moniker Path of Resistance as Earth Crisis popularity began to increase. Major media outlets such as MTV, CNN, and CBS started covering Earth Crisis and vegan straight-edge in general. In 1996, the band released their second full-length album, Gomorrah's Season Ends, a polished and decidedly more metallic affair that produced even more anthems that became singalong worthy staples of their live performances. Though Victory was growing in size alongside the band, offers from bigger, more established and more widely distributed labels began to pour in. The band was asked to take part in the inaugural Ozzfest. Earth Crisis released a live album, The Oath That Keeps Me Free, through Victory and then signed a contract with then-indie metal giant Roadrunner Records, home to acts such as Fear Factory and Sepultura. They also fired Weichman, replacing him with Edwards' brother Erick, late of the band Beta Minus Mechanic. Their first and only album for the label, Breed the Killers, was released simultaneously on vinyl through Equal Vision. It was solid, with production by Andy Sneep and a guest vocal appearance by Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn. Earth Crisis toured relentlessly behind the record, but it failed to generate much more of a buzz than any of their previous releases had already. With dissatisfaction mounting on both sides, Earth Crisis severed ties with Roadrunner and returned "home" to Victory. What followed was perhaps the best work of their career, the decidedly nu metal flavored Slither. Its incredibly well produced, structured, and catchy songs included singing, rapping, and more obtuse and personally oriented lyrics. It was tantamount to a massive "sell-out" to many fans, however, and poor turnouts at subsequent tour stops reflected this. Earth Crisis' next release was a collection of demo, rare, and cover tracks called Last of the Sane. In 2001, they announced their breakup, playing a triumphant final performance at Hellfest in their hometown of Syracuse. A DVD and best-of collection were released soon after. Buechner formed a new band called Nemesis. Crouse and Merrick have teamed up in a progressive, heavy rock group named Slave One. ~ Ryan J. Downey
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Earth Crisis


Albums by
Earth Crisis

Top Songs by
Earth Crisis

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Broken Foundation
  3.   Forced March
  4.   Into Nothingness
  5.   The Wanton Song
  6.   Nemesis
  7.   Gomorrah's Season Ends
  8.   Neutralize the Threat
  9.   Plague Bearers
  10.   Forged in the Flames
  11.   Paint It Black
  12.   City to City
  13.   Fortress
  14.   Death Rate Solution
  15.   Smash or Be Smashed
  16.   Names Carved Into Granite
  17.   Time of Strife
  18.   Cling to the Edge
  19.   Raise
  20.   Born From Pain
  21.   Morality Dictates
  22.   End Begins
  23.   Standing Corpses
  24.   Against the Current
  25.   Ultramilitance
  26.   Final Breath
  27.   Children of the Grave
  28.   Inherit the Wasteland
  29.   Depraved Indifference
  30.   Out of the Cages
  31.   100-Kiloton Blast
  32.   When Slaves Revolt
  33.   Eye of Babylon
  34.   Panic Floods
  35.   The Order That Shall Be
  36.   Hairtrigger
  37.   Agress
  38.   Provoke
  39.   New Ethic
  40.   Unvanquished
  41.   Drug Related Homicide
  42.   One Against All
  43.   The Wrath of Sanity
  44.   Unseen Holocaust
  45.   Deliverance
  46.   The Sunshine of Your Love
  47.   Forgiveness Denied
  48.   Situation Degenerates
  49.   Constrict
  50.   Stand By
  51.   All Out War
  52.   Firestorm
  53.   Ecocide
  54.   Raze
  55.   No Reason
  56.   Biomachines
  57.   De-Desensitize
  58.   So Others Live
  59.   The Order
  60.   Earth A.D.
  61.   Behind the Mask
  62.   Tentacles of the Altering Eye
  63.   Razors Through Flesh
  64.   The Morbid Glare
  65.   Security Threat #1
  66.   The Eradicators
  67.   What Horrifies
  68.   Control Through Fear
  69.   Cities Fall
  70.   Escape
  71.   Mass Arrest
  72.   Mechanism
  73.   Slither
  74.   Loss of Humanity
  75.   Destroy the Machines
  76.   Into the Fray
  77.   Breed the Killers
  78.   Fate of the Neo-Gods
  79.   Cease to Exist
  80.   The Discipline
  81.   To Ashes
  82.   Wither
  83.   No Allegiance
  84.   Behind the Wire
  85.   Edens Demise
  86.   Total War
  87.   Counterstrike
  88.   Firestorm/Forged in the Flames
  89.   By Conscience Compelled
  90.   The Pallid Surgeon
  91.   Killing Brain Cells
  92. <