CROSS – Obsidian Spectre album review



written by
Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

Apparently there is a tritone in the opening riff of the song ‘Lucky Loki’, the first track off Obsidian Spectre. At any rate, the first track does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the album. Cross is like some awesome bastard child of an illicit tryst between Black Sabbath, Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, and a male version of Nico from Velvet Underground. The vocals imply a sort of ‘serious mystical insight’ quality to the rest of the music, due to the detached quality of the delivery and the utterance of such statements as ‘It is golden in my eye’.

Above all else, Cross rocks out. They share that one quality in common with Hooded Fang, while playing a style of rock and roll that is nothing like Hooded Fang. This is straight up rock and roll, which, in this case, is a definite act of revivalism. This band’s sound goes further back in time than Hooded Fang, to the late sixties, and the music, aided by the stoned mystical quality, is like some sort of amplified accompaniment to a rite of magick conducted by Aleister Crowley and filmed by Kenneth Anger.

It is this tribal mystic quality that makes Cross so rad. For some reason, I want them to dress like Sunn O when they go on stage, in medieval monk’s robes, and use a disco ball and tons of black light paint. The songs are built on dirge-like riffs that wind through various sages of gravity. Go to the Telephone Explosion website, and revel in the eldritch mysticism that is Cross.


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