Released via Klonosphere/Season of Mist on Friday 5 May 2023.
For fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood, PJ Harvey, Muse, Depeche Mode, auf der Maur.
Erei Cross was formed in 2019. The Widow and The Others (2023) is their debut full-length album.
It’s been one hell of a weekend and today has been a Monday that proves why Monday has earned its reputation, so I’m going to blitz through this review.
I had assumed from the album cover that this would be a black metal album. Don’t judge an album by its cover, Gareth! Far from it, this is alt rock / electronic / goth with brief sojourns in heavier territory.
With a theme that circles around The Witch, Erei Cross draws its atmosphere, visuals and inspiration from the esoteric and symbolic imagery of modern witchcraft. Which probably explains why I thought this might be a black metal release.
That said, I’m not disappointed. Throughout the eleven tracks, Erei Cross offers an eclectic, dark and engaging sound encompassing a wide variety of styles, but none that can be described as full-on metal. Instead their music floats between heavy rock, goth, electronic and alternative bringing to mind artists such as Muse, Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood, but with a enchanting vocals performance that at times recalls PJ Harvey.
It’s refreshing to listen to something as pop-rocky as this album is in places. Songs like “Lilith grand bitch to queer” (track 4) and “Ainmosni” (track 6) bounce along nicely, with the later reminding me in places of Muse.
By contrast some of the songs lurk beneath a dark atmospheric vibe, such as the haunting “All in” (track 3), the acoustic “The widow” (track 5) and “Vocero” (track 7).
Touching on their electronic-driven songs “The others” (track 9) has a Depeche Mode feel while “Lady Fear” (track 10) has elements of Die Krupps in its jaunty electronic riff.
Closing track “MDCXCII” (track 12)—which makes no logical sense from a Roman numerals point of view—straddles most influences to date, pulling into it everything from an atmospheric introduction, through rocking verses and electronic choruses.
There is a lot to like about this album. I have returned to it again and again over the weekend. It pulls together a lot of influences that I enjoy and overall has the same creative freedom and expression that Melissa auf der Maur manages to compress into her albums. While there are a few inconsistencies and flaws, this is perhaps a band still searching for its own unique sound. What they have presented here, however, is good. I’m going to take one more listen before I move on to the next review.
Review score: 75%
Viral Propaganda PR contacted me inviting me to preview Erei Cross’s debut album, thank you. I have no connections to either Viral Propaganda PR or Erei Cross. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Viral Propaganda PR, and to Erei Cross for continuing to create fresh, exciting new music.