One of the starkest slabs of coruscating doom that your ears are likely to be subjected to…
Review by Paul Castles
Release date: 1 April 2015
Allow me to escort you across the threshold and into the sonic badlands inhabited by Headless Kross. The bearded Scottish trio has just drawn back the crusty curtains to reveal Volumes, one of the starkest slabs of coruscating doom that your ears are likely to be subjected to in a long time. Making three songs – or, to be more accurate, musical statements – stretch 40 minutes is in itself an achievement of sorts. It is still packaged as an album, not an EP, and as such is a worthy introduction to the most unnerving soundscape to come out of Glasgow since the last Old Firm head-to-head.
Volumes commences with a bewitching 21-minute opener in the discordant shape of ‘Rural Juror’. A droning riff is left on its own for around eight mesmerizing minutes, occasionally convulsing with injections of rhythms, before the strained vocals of Derek finally bring a human touch to the cold waters in which Headless Kross swim. The second half of this epic opener throbs like a bear with a sore head as the emotion levels are ratcheted up as the tartan triumvirate combine to execute a suffocating doom opus.
‘Who is this Who is Coming’ starts with a similar funereal drone, crushing riffs sitting under a volley of cymbals and deep pounding drum. Unlike the opening number though, this one develops into a psychedelic storm with the tempo raised significantly and the vocals left almost gasping for air as the suffocating fuzz thickens. Track number three, ‘Even The Destroyed Things Have Been Destroyed’ begins with some satisfyingly sorrowful grooves which eventually dissipate to allow Derek’s distant bark to work their way into the manic maelstrom. With a sumptuous slice of sludge worked into the mix, the final track is more animated and its doped up acoustic hum nestles warmly in your cranium.
Headless Kross have firmly aligned themselves with leading UK doom administrators such as Conan and Bast by having their work expertly massaged into shape by the skilful hands of Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio. The recent ‘Doom over Edinburgh’ showcase, at which Headless Kross performed, confirms that the doom vibes are throbbing with increasing intensity north of the border. If there are many bands up there as promising as Headless Kross then our Scottish cousins have much to get excited about.
8 out of 10
- Rural Juror
- Who is this Who is Coming
- Even The Destroyed Things Have Been Destroyed