First up in this review round-up, an out-of-the-blue EP offering from ††† (or verbally, Crosses), featuring Deftones’ Chino Moreno and Far’s Shaun Lopez teaming up for some electronic rock that’s not too far away from Chino’s previous side-project Team Sleep. The result is five tracks of mostly beat-driven music, with some occasional guitar flourishes, with Chino’s trademark vocals all over everything but the closing instrumental, ‘†’.
Although Chino’s presence doesn’t help this stand out much from his major concern, the EP’s fairly enjoyable as a whole, without bringing anything new to the fore. There’s some an occasional eeriness about one or two of the beats, particularly opener ‘†his Is a †rick’, but there’s some great moments embedded in here as well – I can imagine ‘Op†ion’ sticking around on my MP3 player for a while – although it’s not quite enough to get the pulse racing. It’s more of a grower than an instant hit, and again, it’s not diverse enough to stand out from anything Chino has done with Deftones. But give it time, you might well be pleasantly surprised. It’s available for your e-mail address, and was released somewhat unexpectedly – so free of that hype, go ahead and delve in.
Nottingham’s Moloch’s tortured sludge-doom assault returns here for a full-length comprising just four songs. They play the kind of doom with that same nihilistic stench played and perfected by such modern day peers as Thou and legends of misery like Grief. The first couple find a groove amongst the distortion and screams, particularly ‘Delusions’, which is a sweet jam with a riff rich in Southern tradition. ‘Heinrich’, the album’s longest track, features a b-movie sample the likes of which various sludge bands have used in the past and Moloch aren’t above that. It’s designed to be unsettling and those lady’s screams do just that. Overall, it’s a solid debut full-length, even though at four tracks it’s not much longer than their previous EP releases. UK sludge/doom is safe hands with Moloch and others on the scene continue to unleash the filth on this scale.
Finally in this roundup, some crusty-thrash from Obsessor, which features former Municipal Waste member Brandon Farrell. This EP comprises just two tracks and is over too fast, but it’s excellent stuff that bodes well for this band’s future. It’s very much in the vein of bands like Discharge, earlier Corrosion of Conformity, etc., and the production sounds a little low-rent but captures the rawness of this band brilliantly and even gives off a Celtic Frost vibe. Either way, it doesn’t detract from this taster of what Obsessor have to offer. If they can keep cracking out tracks like ‘Underworld’ and ‘Obsession’ on future, longer releases, I can’t see any reason why they can’t carve out a name for themselves. What’s more, Tankcrimes are offering this EP as a free download – so you’ve no excuse not to check them out.