This is the first album to feature Jordan Hastings on drums, replacing founding member Jesse Ingelevics. Ingelevics was no longer a part of the band as of June 14, 2005, according to a statement on Alexisonfire's official website. The post cited that the band and Ingelevics had slowly grown apart, and that he wanted to spend more time with his family and his fiancée. The song "Keep It On Wax" is about his departure, and his alleged trash-talking of the band that followed. The album also features Planes Mistaken for Stars frontman Gared O'Donnell singing on the track "You Burn First". The single "Boiled Frogs" refers to George's dad, whose boss tried to cheat him out of a pension, and refers to the popular theory that frogs, if placed in a pot of water and have the temperature slowly raised, will not notice that they are being cooked.
The album art for Crisis features aftermath of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 that hit the Niagara Region and Western New York. The main cover features the famous picture of a frostbitten man, a snowblower clearing the large accumulation of snow, and bare trees during the blizzard. Additional pictures of the event are included inside the album's booklet. The lyrics from the song "Crisis" are based on this event.
There are limited editions of the album which include a USB flash drive containing bonus material. It includes the live performances of "Accidents" and "Mailbox Arson" at the SCENE Music Festival in St. Catharines, Ontario, the making of the videos "Passing Out in America" and "This Could Be Anywhere in the World", and a slide show from their trip in Europe to the audio of a new song called "Thrones". There is also an extra song called "My God is a Reasonable Man". The Vagrant Records version has an insert between the jewel case and original album cover, the insert changed the cover art for the US release, this was not done in any other market.
Crisis was voted 50th in the 50 Greatest Albums of the 21st Century in Kerrang!