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The Cross – Act II: Walls of the Forgotten

The Cross
Act II: Walls of the Forgotten
by Gary Hernandez at 15 May 2022, 6:25 PM

Having formed in 1990, THE CROSS is touted as the first Brazilian Doom Metal band. So, a couple of anomalies to call out here: 1) Doom Metal in Brazil is a bit of a rarity. Brazil is more commonly known as a hotbed for Thrash, so, yeah, Doom from Brazil is intriguing. 2) While THE CROSS has three EPs, one split, and one live album under their belt, they only have one full-length studio album. As of May 22, 2022, that changes with the release of “Act II: Walls of the Forgotten.” What isn’t an anomaly here is the quality of this album. THE CROSS may not be the most prolific band, but when they put something out, it’s usually damned good.

Act II: Walls of the Forgotten” comprises six tracks and clocks out at just under one hour. Yeah, so there’s some seriously sustained riffs stretched out across some slow-moving tempos here. Add to that the fact that the first three tracks just bleed right on into the following tracks, creating the illusion that the album is only four tracks long instead of six. All that is to say, this album is all Doom.

The darkened estate depicted on the cover—with the aesthetic of abandonment, the colors washed out, the windows bare, the sky the same gray as the building itself—is a perfect metaphor to the music you’ll find inside. First, it’s heavy and infused with tones of lingering despair. Second, and on a much deeper level, what haunts the house (the world) is the forsaken life that once filled it. “Act II: Walls of the Forgotten” is less a celebration of the dark so much as a lament to what we have allowed ourselves to become.

On the album itself, you’ll find some surprises. Appearing on three of the six tracks are multiple guest vocalists, including Albert Bell (FORSAKEN, NOMAD SON), Leo Stivala (FORSAKEN), and Steve Lombardo on “Umbral”; Achraf Loudiy (AETERNAM) on “Beyond the Walls of Seth”; and Aaron Stainthorpe (MY DYING BRIDE) on “Walls of the Forgotten.” With only six tracks, it’s hard to single out standout tracks but the one that is most distinctive from the others is “Beyond the Walls of Seth” with its heavy Eastern influences and mesmerizing vocal harmonies. Another top track—similarly distinctive for its ‘otherness’ rather than its viscera—is “Ouroboros.” This track is soul ripping in its projected anguish and its haunting atmosphere.

We don’t get to hear a lot from THE CROSS. Like many others, they’ve had their fair share of disruptions over the years. “Act II: Walls of the Forgotten” sees them come back strong. In today’s world of turmoil and fear, their message of Doom is as relevant as ever.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Behind the Stone Gate
2. Walls of the Forgotten
3. Beyond the Eyes of Seth
4. Sonnenstein Castle
5. Umbral
6. Ouroboros
Louis – Drums
Eduardo Slayer – Vocals
Paulo Monteiro – Guitars
Daniel Fauaze – Guitars
Leandro Kastyphas – Bass
Record Label: Pitch Black Records


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