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Las Cruces – Cosmic Tears

Las Cruces
Cosmic Tears
by Phil Tyler at 12 September 2022, 5:53 AM

LAS CRUCES is a Doom Metal band from Antonio, Texas and were first formed in 1994, releasing three albums; S.O.L (1996), the widely acclaimed Ringmaster (1998) and Dusk (2010). Now after a further 12 years, they finally release Cosmic Tears on Ripple Music. As I listened to the album, I made notes on each track and a common theme was ‘Slow Doomy Riff’ which really in essence is what Cosmic Tears is all about. The riff is king and everything else is carried along on the back of the riff.

Ignoring the first track which is a short instrumental which is frankly repetitive and boring, the atmospheric title track “Cosmic Tears” kicks in and is excellent. The production is decent though would have preferred it to be more ‘in your face’. The bass is nice and crunchy rather than scratchy which makes a welcome change and it’s nice and clear in the mix. There’s an atmospheric echoey guitar in the verse and Jason’s vocals are strong. There’s a great lead solo over a hypnotic rhythm and it ends on the doomy riff from the beginning and an interesting bass solo to end the track.

“Stay” is also excellent and opens with light cymbals and a bass riff before a grooving guitar riff dominates accompanied by superb vocals from Jason. There are quite a few long songs (over 6 minutes) and “Egyptian Winter” clocks in at 7 ½ minutes. However it doesn’t get repetitive thanks to a rumbling drum and bass introducing a faster riff over which an elongated lead solo adds needed variety,  before returning to the slower main riff.

“All who fear are turned to slaves
Egypt sands become their grave.”

It’s a great song and one of my fave from the album.  After “Holy Hell” which is another good track, we have the second instrumental “Terminal Drift” which should be called Terminally Boring. It’s just a repetitive bass riff with some echoey guitar over the top and a simple drum beat and it goes on for ever. Ironically the song is down as being 5 mins 10 seconds but ends at around the 4.30 mark – almost as if the track itself went ‘I can’t be arsed with this…” and finished.

“Relentless” is the longest track at 8 mins long and it takes 3 minutes before a faster riff takes hold from the slow riff that introduces the song.  There’s a nice solo too before the slow riff takes hold again but it does draw out a final riff for over a minute which could have been shortened. The final track “The Wraith” is almost Funeral Doom as it’s a slow plodding dirge and like a wraith, drains the life from you. A little bit of trimming wouldn’t have gone amiss with the instrumentals in particular being cut along with the first couple of minutes of “Reverend Trask” and the last minute or so of “Relentless”. It does make the album seem a little bloated and would have then been a manageable listen at around 45 minute mark. An hour I felt was too long.

Overall though LAS CRUCES have crafted a competent Doom Metal album that I’m sure fans of this genre will enjoy. Jordan’s vocals are excellent throughout and there are some great songs amongst some plodding moments.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Altar of the Seven Sorrows
2. Cosmic Tears
3. Stay
4. Wizard from the North
5. Reverend Trask
6. Egypt
7. Holy Hell
8. Terminal Drift
9. Relentless
10. The Wraith
Lineup:
George Trevino Guitars
Mando Tovar Guitars
Jimmy Bell Bass
Paul DeLeon (R.I.P. 2021) Drums
Jason Kane Vocals
Record Label: Ripple Music
     


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