|5 (1 votes):|
With four scabrous black metal cuts cocooned into this searing EP, Downcross are as ever in no mood to play games. The Minsk men generated plenty of interest with last year’s two album releases. They also showed a command of the stage when supporting such defenders of the dark arts as Taake. The pair have managed to build on that promising first year with this new EP.
Once more the Belarus brutality levels are pitched high, from the initial buzzed up chug of a riff that sets the tempo for the opening sacrifice at the altar of the damned in the spine-tingling shape of “Where Veil of Flesh Will Tear”.
These new tracks are slayed as though the band’s very life depends on it. The bestial blasts are feverish, the growls aggressive enough to send a tiger scurrying back to his cage and the whole atmosphere perfectly aligns to bring just a hint of a smile to the all-seeing dark lords. While LDZMR provides both vocals and drums it is DZMTR who really brings the credibility to the table with some stunning fretwork and riff surges that sweep all before them like a tidal wave of blasphemy.
One such is the menacing stringwork that opens “War Maiden of the Worlds” with a riff that slowly releases the stench of demonic dread across the barren plains of doom as Downcross take a more measured stance before finally bringing the cauldron to the boil. Before you know it LDZMR’s sickening throaty bellow sends things spiraling into the pit of putridity where you feel Downcross are as happy as a gator in the Louisiana swamps.
“Lord of the Dark Sun Forces” crashes through your speakers with all the subtlety of a misguided goose flying into a pane of glass. The blastbeats tumble thick and fast throughout but what really shines through is the melodic grooves that help prevent Downcross from simply falling headfirst into a net of blackened syrup.
The pair only emerged from Belarus a little over a year ago and prior to this EP had already rushed out two albums in Mysteries of Left Path and What Light Covers Not. Downcross are formidable performers, in possession of the twisted talent to satisfy the deepest yearnings for occult-lined black metal. Fortunately their so far prodigious output has not fallen into the trap of putting quantity over quality. The melodies are as integral to their wellbeing as the angry anti-authoritarian roars but when the two forge onto the same Luciferian level as on the closing title track, the impact is gloriously devilish in the extreme.
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