Monday, May 4, 2015

Broken Cross: "Through Light to Night"

Imagine if you found the long lost demo tapes of Celtic Frost that Tom Warrior recorded in his grand mother's basement. Broken is not far from this. It's pretty lo-fi, though aside from the pots and pans sound of the drums that adds to some of the charm. A one man band , he pulls from the rawer side of metal coming across as more of a punk thing  that has roaring metal vocals on "World Demolition". The perhaps intentionally rough hewn production works at some points better than others. The songs are typically more punk in length most under three minutes. On songs where they do head in the five minute direction the songs have more room to build a range of dynamics.  Some times there are more thrash guitar harmonies, some times its at a more dragging dirge pace. Samples and almost industrial sounds are scrawled like bath room graffiti on the songs. After the muddy samples when the melodies on "Total Isolation" float out of the underground stomp they seem like beautiful accidents amid the ugliness. "Path to extinction" could have one of the more Frosty riff. "Into the Fire" has a smoky cloud of melodies drifting over the wreckage the drums bang over .

One of the most Celtic Frost ridden moments is the bass line that stirs up the circle pit on" Path to Extinction". The blues tinged guitar seems like it is being thrown into the same trash compactor that is crushing all the other sounds that make up this song. I am sure this production is just this guy's thing , but there is some pretty decent guitar work buried under some of this sonic wreckage. The thrashy pace "the Age of Deceit" brings doesn't seem to break any new ground like the other song s attempt to in their own depraved fashion. When the song slows down and catches it breath for the inhuman growls to gurgle in , before it breaks all the way down almost like a depressive black metal  in the final thirty seconds.

Sometimes the atmosphere is more blatant than others. While very obvious on "Open the Black Hole" it is one of the albums best songs. Sure some of the sonic clutter throws every thing at you at once in certain places.The weird clanging sounds sit oddly against the very polished guitar lines bubbling under the cesspool. When the song defaults into speeding up it's a little disappointing and for this to go in the more conventional direction. At over seven minutes the album's lengthiest song give them room to experiment. The vocals take on a more sung breathy quality and some of the sounds they have colliding with one another are quite haunting. The doomy riffs midway in are a good call. The thing that works best about the album is the fact influences can be heard but the over all sound is one of a kind. I'll give it an 8.5, better production might have made certain parts work better with in the context of these songs , but it is what it is.

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