Review: “The Sign of Spiritual Delusion” by Cross Bringer

A new band formed by members of Euglena and The Homeless is Dead specializing in Blackened Hardcore, Cross Bringer has musicians in both Belgium and Russia. Their debut album “The Sign of Spiritual Delusion” was recorded in the early part of 2020 as a concept release representing phases of the phenomenon called Prelest; A spiritual illness in relation to God and a crisis of faith. The 7-track album is a journey through illusions, delusions, anger, grief, agony, deprivation, self-loathing and obsession, guided through by hallucinations, flash-backs, voices and prayers, giving space to reflection, obtainment of self-control and much needed resurrection of self, stepping into the new cycle of martyrdom that is yet to be broken. Drums were recorded by Ilya Marvel at DTH Studio in Moscow, Russia; Guitars and vocals by Aleksey Aleksandrov at BuzzyLick Studio in Saint-Petersburg, Russia; before mixing and mastering by Luc Ferre and Thibault Chaumont respectively; making the record something of a gargantuan undertaking…

…The bleak soundscape of “Prayer” paints a harrowing picture with a droning start and whispered moments as if scattered on the four winds before the roar of Aleksandrov breaks through and gives us throat shredding vocals that make for a typically epic Black Metal opening. Taking that and adding elements of Hardcore, Grind and Crust to the mix in “The Battle Of The Weak” which blends Converge with bands like Deathspell Omega makes for a belligerent tale of fury. The raw nature of Black Metal is captured perfectly with howling higher pitched screams and furious blast beat segments, but there is also an undercurrent of freedom the other parts, no desire to keep to a blueprint or stick to a genre. A longer dissonant introduction to “Supplication – Sacrament” is smashed into a million pieces by the blind rage of what follows, a howling tornado of drums from Marvel in thunderous wave after thunderous wave, hit hard while the melancholic melody that is behind the raw abrasive guitars is there for all the hear. The story that lies within the streams is as harrowing as the vocals are brutal and as you read the lyric sheet, the pain that sees self immolation becomes all to clear. The second atmospheric piece comes in the form of “The Sun Ritual” which has that kind of ambient touch that is often heard in more progressive music without that programmed undercurrent. It makes for light piercing the black clouds and dispersing them after the approaching eight minute onslaught of the previous track, providing the soundtrack to waking from a heavenly dream.

Wasting no time with introductions “Temptation Of Naivety (Untamable Black Dog)” bursts into life like waking someone from a dream with a punch in the face. Blistering drum fills and Snorlax esq spitting, snarling and down right venomous vocals tear flesh from the bone like a rabid dog. Some slower moments mid cut allow for breathing space before things step up once again before a burst of feedback opens up the floor for “Torture Incantation“. The unrelenting rage of the lyrics is transcribed into the battery of the music, it’s ongoing storm of violence a physical representation of the weight of the pain attached to them. Whispered moments towards the end only serve to add a haunting touch to the madness. The finale that is “Self-Inflicted Martyrdom” offers some simpler structured breakdown moments that echo out following the tirade of riffs that show no end. An album of cathartic writings of mental torment, “The Sign of Spiritual Delusion” marks a line in the sand and dares you to cross it [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Prayer
2. The Battle Of The Weak
3. Supplication – Sacrament
4. The Sun Ritual
5. Temptation Of Naivety (Untamable Black Dog)
6. Torture Incantation
7. Self-Inflicted Martyrdom

The Sign of Spiritual Delusion” by Cross Bringer via Consouling Sounds and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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