Cruz de Hierro — Crossroads
(no#, 0, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01Some may recall this Mexican quintet from their performance at Baja Prog many years back; in fact they have come a long way toward finding their own sound since those earlier days. Their stock in trade is a melodic progressive metal, a busy and technical style that fits these players well, though it eases occasionally into more pop-stricken radio-friendly territory (as on "With You" or "Life and Dream"). Guitarist Ernesto Bringas leads the band, and together with brother Antonio Bringas (drums, also a member of Cast) has a hand in all the compositions, which tend to be heavily guitar driven and rhythmically intense, but bear clever and varied arrangements that keep them interesting throughout. The four instrumentalists (g/k/b/d) are skilled and impressive players who hold their own next to the best of them. Vocalist Alejandro Carrera is the wild card here, listeners will probably take or leave the band based on the vocals, typically prog-metal and somewhat on the emotional, histrionic side. For some reason the band also finds a need for lyrics in English (isn't their primary audience in Guadalajara Spanish speaking?); mind you the lyrics are generally good, sometimes excellent, but too often the singer's delivery is a bit awkward. For the album closer "Trinta Monedas," he switches to Spanish, and it's here where he gives his strongest performance on the disc. Fans of chops driven prog-metal will probably find Crossroads to their liking. Check out the MySpace page for samples.
Related artist(s): Cruz de Hierro
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more