Off The Cross

At the start of 2017, OFF THE CROSS came to life with the release of […]
December 20, 2018
Off The Cross - Era album cover

At the start of 2017, OFF THE CROSS came to life with the release of their debut album, "Divided Kingdom." The album was received well by press and fans alike. On the back of their debut album OFF THE CROSS have been taking Belgium by storm in a two year span the band performed at Graspop Metal Meeting, Groezrock, Antwerp Metal Fest and more. Next to supporting EPICA, ABORTED, DARKEST HOUR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, and MISFITS Doyle on his European Tour. In the Spring of 2018 they hit the studio to record their next chapter: the upcoming EP "Era." We have the EP here for review, which contains four new tracks.

"The Goddess" opens with album, with church like chanting and a powerful and dark riff. The vocals are high and raging, over the crunchy mid-tempo riff, and then variate to the lower ranges as well. In the upper ranges he reminds me of the great Anders Fridén from IN FLAMES. The female clean vocals are a surprise, and a nice one as well. "The Silence" opens with strings and clean guitar sounds, playful at first. Then the main riff hits hard, in a flurry of notes. Clean male vocals provide another dimension to the music, sounding almost Gothic in their delivery. When the harsh vocals come in it changes to a different sound.

"The Mist" opens with marching drums and light and frail cello notes. Then, they lay on open notes in the verses, leading to both harsh and clean vocals in the chorus. It's a strange amalgam-almost like THE CURE and IN FLAMES has a child. After the second chorus, the song turns bright, with saxophone notes and a positive sound. "The Savior" is the final track, opening with light piano notes before the big riff hits like a bomb. Dual vocals again really provide a fascinating balance here. The alluring piano returns with a choir of clean vocals.

I thought that the Melodic Death Metal genre had little new to offer these days, since DARK TRANQUILLITY and IN FLAMES pioneered the genre in the early 1990's. I was wrong. This EP teased my senses with only four tracks, but definitely had me checking into their previously released full-length and remaining hopeful for the future of the genre.

8 / 10









"Era" Track-listing:

1. The Goddess
2. The Silence
3. The Mist
4. The Savior

Off The Cross Lineup:

Jens De Vos
Servaas Steurbaut
Kurt Hermans
Steven Van Crombruggen

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