Firestorm is a defining recording for Earth Crisis as well as ’90s hardcore. Though not necessarily breaking new ground, it did codify a new-school sound that owed as much to metal as it did to Minor Threat. In terms of themes and ideology, Firestorm confirms Earth Crisis’ own identity — militantly straight edge in the face of an apocalyptic-dystopian world. The musical arrangements often come off as extended mosh parts, the chugging open chords that announce the disc setting a focused, unrelenting tone. Though a line like “A knight unyielding/To the ‚ÄòX’ I’m crucified” might sound overwrought to those not of a youthful, straight-edge persuasion, Earth Crisis’ abrasive groove is hard to deny. Thus for the straight-edge kids who can sing along as well as “pick up change” amidst the frenzy, this release is seminal. For Earth Crisis themselves, this EP is a crucial touchstone; the territory explored on Firestorm is the basis for everywhere else the group has ventured on subsequent outings, further into militant eco-politics and further soundwise into new realms of heaviness.
Recorded on Mars, June 14-16, 1993.
Reissued for Record Store Day 2013 on red vinyl and limited to 900 copies.
(Victory Records)