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'Crosses' provides great moments followed by awful sounds

By Zarrin Ahmed
On February 12, 2014

The new album by †††, pronounced crosses, is a rollercoaster in quality and tonality, but spectacular in moments.
New to the name? Familiar with Deftones though? Crosses is a side project created by Deftones singer Chino Moreno in 2011. Working with guitarist Shaun Lopez, from the band Far, and musician Chuck Doom, Moreno began recording music separately from his usual tone in Deftones. According to an interview with Noisecreep Moreno described the project as "minimal and soothing and it's sort of like the stuff I like listening to when I'm not screaming my head off."
The band's first recorded album was released in 2011, but since then they've contributed a song to the game "Batman: Arkham City" andcovered Rob Zombie's "Dragula" which Zombie put on his album Mondo Sex Head.
Interestingly, the musical style of Crosses is often referred to as "witch house," but Moreno described the music to be far from religious or cult-like in anyway. Quite true, I'd equate the music to Deftones'. Though ridden with heavy drums and a metal sound, Moreno sings about love and the world in a slow and sultry voice.
The worst parts of the album were when the drums and music dragged in monotonous crying, pulling the rest of the song behind it. To be fair, the album has a lot of those parts. Though Moreno's voice remains consistent between Deftones and Crosses, the tones that he provides for each are entirely different. He presents intensity, conflict and harmony, but the music in Crosses is much more somber than fiery.
The album begins on a strong note with "This Is a Trick," mixing electronic and heavy metal sounds to produce a unique blend of melodies. It even includes some of Moreno's screaming, which I believe enhanced the song. The next song took on a sort of 80's sound intertwined it with heavy bass backgrounds and echoing vocals. Though a lot of fuss had been made of "Bitches Brew," the song sounded like a mediocre version of a Deftones song, with inferior lyrics.
The beginning of "Thholyghst" blew me away. It begins incredibly softly, picking up only a tiny bit with keyboard keys and Moreno's voice, like a lullaby. I think Moreno's singing shaped most of this song in a good way.
Not many other songs stand out on the album. The album was held up solely by Moreno's voice, and when he didn't perform well the song tanked. When Moreno's singing and the general feel of the music came together in perfect harmony, the music emphasized and accompanied Moreno's voice, making the moments captivating.
Songs to listen to: This is a Trick, Thholyghst

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