Upon Desecrated Altars

Left Cross

“Upon Desecrated Altars” is a half hour pummeling at blistering pace with devastating riffs, relentless blast-beats, and deep-lying growls
January 15, 2024

LEFT CROSS hailing from Richmond, Virginia, were formed in 2014. The Death Metal outfit released so far four EPs and one full-length album. Their sophomore album “Upon Desecrated Altars” was mixed by Arthur Rizk (CRYPTA; KREATOR; MUNICIPAL WASTE) and mastered by Dan Lowndes (CENOTAPH; DEATH FORTRESS; IMPRECATION) at Resonance Sound. It has a length of almost 35 minutes. The album was released via Canadian label Profound Lore Records, which has many Black, Death, and Doom Metal bands among their current roster.

As many Death Metal albums, “Upon Desecrated Altars” starts with a cinematic, tension-building intro “Debellation” and then entering the Death Metal carnage with the franticThe Blood Of Mars”. It is an old school Death Metal track at blistering pace, simple and direct riffing, lots of double-bass drumming and blast-beats, and growling vocals coming straight from the abyss. The growls vary around the deeper end of the guttural range, fitting perfectly into the grim start of the album. The Blood Of Mars” is the official YouTube release and the link is provided below. “Deity Of Molten Iron” continues with the dark sound, but at a slower pace. While the verse parts are played at a head-banging rhythm, all the rest of the track is blast-beat dominated, including the short but contributing lead guitar solo. “Burning Raids” raises tempo during the first part of the track and then switches between mid-tempo and crazy speed. The riffing and the basslines are crushing, and what can be identified as melodies in all the pummeling chaos is spine-chilling. The vocals are slightly more versatile with some shifts towards higher lying growls.

The title song perfectly fits in to the chaos and it is another fast Death Metal attack with a few changes in tempo and rhythm. The blast-beats are leading the charge alongside the direct riffing and the growls. There is hardly any technicality in most of the album tracks, in so far, the title track represents the LEFT CROSS sound very well. “Unblinding The Covenant” has a different start compared to most album tracks, as crunching bassline at a sluggish pace are very prominent, at least during the introductory part of the track. “Unblinding The Covenant” quickly changes to the well-tried textures of pace, chaos, and gloominess. There are a few twists in tempo and rhythm throughout the track, and the lead guitars have a short, but notable contribution. Speaking about technicality, even the solos have little or almost no technicality, which fits very well into the overall sound framework. The story of “Inexorable March” is quickly told as the track hardly differs from the other album tracks, it is just a matter of when the twists in rhythm occur and how often blast-beats are used. “Inexorable March” is one of the few tracks with a longer mid-tempo part towards the end of the track.

Unhallowed Oaths” has a bit of a Swedish inspired mid-tempo start, before the bludgeoning begins. Driven by the blast-beats and the devastating riffs, the track is another classic Death Metal carnage. The growls are once again a bit more versatile including some blood-freezing screams. There are tempo and rhythm changes in quick succession, contributing to more chaos in the sound. “Pyramid Of Conquered Skulls” is not that different from “Unhallowed Oaths”, both tracks are a hammering. The album finishes in style with “Celestial Wound”. After a grim mid-tempo start with crushing riffs for the first verse part, the chaos begins with a relentless blast-beat attack. “Celestial Wound” has some clearer song textures compared to most tracks by restricting the fast and chaotic parts to a certain extent and adding more mid-tempo parts. As a downside, the track sounds unfinished as it simply fades out at the end.

LEFT CROSS sophomore album is a deadly delivery of classical Death Metal in best North American tradition. “Upon Desecrated Altars” is a half hour pummeling at blistering pace with devastating riffs, relentless blast-beats, and deep-lying growls. The overall sound of the album is spine-chilling, but there is little versatility and therefore, many songs sound very similar and interchangeable. The album production leads to a raw and muddy sound. Death Metal fans who love to get a hammering without mercy will enjoy the album, however, Upon Desecrated Altars” leaves some room for improvement in many aspects.

7 / 10









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"Upon Desecrated Altars" Track-listing:
  1. Debellation
  2. The Blood Of Mars
  3. Delty Of Molten Iron
  4. Burning Raids
  5. Upon Desecrated Altars
  6. Unblinding The Covenant
  7. Inexorable March
  8. Unhallowed Oaths
  9. Pyramid Of Conquered Skulls
  10. Celestial Wound
Left Cross Lineup:

Wes Warren Vocals

Jerret Clark Guitars

Seth Anderson Guitars

S.B. Drums

Dylan Williams Bass

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