The Belarusian black metal band Downcross made a startling debut with their first album, Mysteries of Left Path. To paraphrase what we wrote in introducing our premiere of the album early last year, every one of the eight tracks on the album was emotionally powerful, and powerful in the production of their sound. They included magnetically attractive melodic hooks and shifts among contrasting moods within each song — from cold-hearted to glorious, from bereft to barbaric, and much more.
There was also heavyweight heft in the low end, and tremendous, penetrating, gleaming vibrancy in the guitar tones (without becoming completely “clean” in their tone). The drumming rocked and romped as often as it thundered, and there were as many hook-laden strummed chords as the dense wash of blazing tremolo vibrations.
The duo of vocalist/drummer Ldzmr and guitarist Dzmtr quickly proved that their debut was no fluke, because their second album (which we also premiered last fall), What Light Covers Not, was also tremendously good, and further vivid evidence that Downcross are gifted songwriters.