Review: Mongrel’s Cross “Arcana, Scrying and Revelation” [Hells Headbangers]

Review: Mongrel’s Cross “Arcana, Scrying and Revelation” [Hells Headbangers]

- in Reviews

The Australian extreme metal band Mongrel’s Cross this year through the label Hells Headbangers has released their third album “Arcana, Scrying and Revelation” after two years of silence. And their material also changed – speedier, crazier, and more melodic, as well as original.

After the line-up changes, the famous drummer/singer Proscriptor McGovern (Absu, Melechesh, Equimanthorn) joined the band with his unique experimental voice, making the sound of the band even more bizarre and jolly. That was a stroke of luck for these Australian savages, the over-emotional theatrical manner of singing of Proscriptor truly adorned their frantic music. And though they continue to display their true interest for the evil and satanic themes, this album sounds positively balanced and sarcastically mocking.

The most part of the songs is based on heavy/thrash metal structure, adding some extra blackness and speediness, so the music of Mongrel’s Cross rather can be considered as heavy metal with black metal elements. The heaviest song is the last one “The whispering Void”, the disharmonious guitar solos and anxious riffs even hasten this track towards death metal. The black metal comes with an accelerated pace, major power riffs and blast beats, covering the whole music with a kind of evil and mysterious atmosphere. But usually the songs are presented as heavy metal anthems with primitive structures, so no wonder that this material is shallow and easy to catch with. There’s absolutely no progressiveness on this record, “What the Cards May Tell” is the only song with a hint of technical miracles, which in this case are obtained through the long and traditional guitar solos. The melodic parts also provide with more classical musical attitude, the songs “Suffer the Witch to Live” and “A Magician’s Prayer” are the most melodic on this release. But all this musical side is slightly sidelined, when Proscriptor demonstrates his many singing talents. His half-screams, insane shrieks and piercing cries are overwhelmed with variegated emotions and senses, sending the listener into theatrically lunatic frenzy. Indeed, the manner of singing of this incredible musician creates a mind-blowing flow of avant-garde perfection.

The Australian extreme scene isn’t overcrowded with big names, Mongrel’s Cross follows into the footsteps of the fiery monsters like Deströyer 666 and Gospel of the Horns, adding some experimental extra points to themselves, thanks to ex-vocalist of Absu. They dig deep into occult roots of the world of magic and wizards (beautifully skilled cover art also showcases their fondness for fantasy themes), making this fun and nonchalant music with an exceptional taste.

Release date: November 27, 2020

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