36 Crazyfists – “Lanterns” (Spinefarm Records)

In the two years since 2015’s Time and Trauma, 36 Crazyfists have battled everything from extreme depression to divorce, the result of which is their seventh studio album Lanterns, a life raft for those who are drowning and a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering. Lanterns is a behemoth from the word go with jack hammer riffs, stomping percussion and dynamic vocal agility from frontman Brock Lindow, who delivers stunning melodies just as easily as he does crushing bars, on opener “Death Eater.” “Wars To Walk Away From” and “Better To Burn” up the headbanging factor thanks to more brilliant mic work from Lindow and a noticeable sense of urgency and “Sea and Smoke” is built around soaring hooks and lofty guitars. Lindow transforms into a raspy wandering troubadour on the poignant “Where Revenge Ends,” an emotionally charged slow burner that plays well in today’s unsettled world (‘Where revenge ends / We lose ourselves tonight / And where love lives / I’ll find myself asleep in the light’). The track also works as a bridge to Lanterns’ second half, which fittingly opens with the gutturally explosive “Sleepsick.” From there, lengthy guitar solos rule the day on “Laying Hands,” “Old Gold” is a hulking monster and Lindow’s somber tones return on the aptly titled closer “Dark Corners,” one final anthem to help guide us all out of life’s, well, dark corners. Like time, music can help heal all wounds and this album is proof of that. In the end, Lanterns might be 36 Crazyfists’ best album to date, so let the debate begin.

Go Download: “Sleepsick”