All Crosss up…
This is not a metal album. It’s dark and moody with twinges of “heavy” parts thrown in, but it is not a metal record. This album, however, is interesting, creative, dark, abstract and experimental in the ways that most metal records are not. Which is the benefit and the curse of CROSSS’s newest album LO.
It’s a tough album to describe. So pardon the attempt here; it’s like Daredevil trying to describe what color a Picasso painting is. At it’s core LO is truly exploring the dissonant nature of the guitar. Wrong notes twist and turn your head but they don’t make you cringe. Songs like “Dance Down” and “Eye Séance” are dark and dissonant with vocals that haunt rather than lead the listener through. In almost a doom metal fashion, the songs churn rather than chug. Like slow, molten lava the songs just seep along.
That kind of slow pace is the beating heart of LO. Even its fastest and shortest tune, “Kaloo Kalay,” is by no means a page turner. It almost seems like a demo rather than an album cut with its short and abrupt end. It’s in sharp contrast to “Enthroning The 4 Acts,” an acoustic guitar-based noise fest that lasts for almost twenty minutes, a feat that midway through stops and then restarts.
“Golden Hearth” is probably the most metal-esque and complete song on the album. Where the other songs seem like they were thrown together at almost a moment’s notice, “Golden Hearth” seems like CROSSS spent a touch of time on the arrangement. The starts and stops on the almost four minute song is very doom metal. There is even a guitar solo in this song. Adding to this the exasperated vocal really gives it the desperation that it needs; that last bit of spice before it leaves the kitchen.
Track “Interloculator” seems almost out of place here. It’s too much of a song to be on the same album. Following “Golden Hearth,” “Interlocutor” sticks with the dark doom orientation and just like its predecessor, follows the same kind of metal riffing we are accustomed to.
By the time the record is over, like all interesting art, you will be asking yourself what you just listened to. It’s almost an experiment to see how far down CROSSS can take the listener. Don’t be surprised if you don’t find yourself taking the trip.