It’s hard to believe this is the product of a brooding teenage boy locked in his bedroom. Like all their other releases Crackpot Theory’s Dan Ashcroft records and plays everything on this record by himself, but unlike previous releases it doesn’t show.
From the beginning track to the last it is New Zealand metal at its best. At the opening of ‘Depressionist’ I knew that Ashcroft had graduated from mopey teenager to rockstar. As the title Black Metal Much? suggests, gone is the rapping and low emotional drone that drips of teenage issues . All that’s left are screams, growls and metal. The stand-out track for me was ‘Scarkiss’; the growls of the first verse are reminiscent of Eight Foot Sativa’s ‘Believer’ and the unusual and heavy riffs of the opening reek of Black Metal.
This release sees Ashcroft effectively doing covers of his own band with the revision of two previously released Crackpot Theory tracks, ‘In Your Head’ fromEmilie’s Illusion and ‘Scorch my Skin’ from Vol. 3: Mixed CD for a Double Suicide. The revisions show off Ashcroft’s progression as a musician. The gloomy Goth ballad ‘In your head’ has morphed from a ballad to a solid punch of pure metal and the mopey Gothic vocals have become a guttural scream. The experimental stereo panning and background orchestration of ‘Scorch my Skin’ has been stripped away, revealing a gnarly bestial skeleton, the terror of which surpasses the monster it once was.
The recording quality of the instruments, the drums especially, has improved drastically, even since the last release. What once sounded like a cacophony of suitcases and pots being thrashed in quick procession behind the intense guitar riffage has become the rib-rattling backbone of double kicks and precise drum rolls. If Crackpot Theory’s development continues exponentially the next release, due November 2010, could easily be confused for a major-label commercial release.
Crackpot Theory is just one guy, Daniel Ashcroft AKA 'The crackpot therapist'.
Been in a handfull of bands such as Emilies Illusion (bassist/vocalist), Fallen World (guitarist/vocalist), Scarkiss (drummer/bv) and Syntax Error (drummer/bv). But my main creative outlet has always been my solo project, it's also been my longest running project (since 2008). I have a recording studio in my bedroom, I write all the songs, record them, mix/master and all that hoo hah.
I have independantly released 6 albums (3 in 2008, 3 in 2009), I am currently working on 7, hoping to release at JB-HIFI and also Marbecks, it will also be my debut as an artist on the $lave collective, a local label as it were. My sound changes dramatically with every record, covering everything from nu-metal to death metal to thrash to black and even acoustic and alternative rock. My current sound and what to expect on the new album 9which will be entitled 'desperation' will be what i belive a cross between Rammstein, Iwrestledabearonce and Saosin. My live shows consist of just me singing/screaming/rapping behind backing tracks, but please dont think it's anything like karaoke, it's quite an entertaining and interesting visual preformance. Always looking for shows anywhere and everywhere, so don't be hesitant to get in touch, it's not as gay as it sounds!