Headless Kross formed in Scotland in 2011. They are a Psychedelic Doom band who use an unearthly vocal style along with a satisfyingly fuzzy bass and heavy as a wrecking ball in your crotch guitar sound. We’ve been sent their new Album, Projections I, the first part of a pretty exciting trilogy of releases, all due out within the next 12 months, to review. You’ll be able to get your filthy hands on this instalment on 18th November.
Now let’s not fuck around here, these guys have shared the stage with the likes of Conan, Orange Goblin, Jucifer and Slomatics, and you don’t get to do that if you’ve got nothing going on! They’ve already shattered a few eardrums and expectations with their second full length album Volumes in 2015, so many will be interested to see how Projections 1 fares.
From the opening notes of Does Not Equal Time I’m enthralled. Straight away it is heavy and sublimely Doom, with a neck cranking groove. The distant scream vocal adds to the atmosphere as musically it chugs along, satisfyingly low tempo and fuzzily. Then halfway through the speed is increased in a hypnotising repetition of riff, where the drum beat is the only thing that changes, adding an underlying intensity, then slowness, then intensity again. The Drum work single handedly changes the mood of the track whilst everything else stays the same and I find it so effective in terms of song writing. This is a composition that draws you in and allows you to lose yourself, something only great Doom metal bands achieve.
Practical Mental Effects introduces itself with layers of feedback and a gut-wrenching scream, an indication as to what you’re going to hear vocally for the remainder of the song. It is so slow, it makes a sloth look like Usain Bolt, but this adds to the intensity of the heaviness, a few surprises are thrown in in terms of notes, which work well to peak your attention. Again, Headless Kross show a propensity to create interesting sound, when later in the track a spacey solo comes in creating a glorious few moments that alone are worth the 8 minutes this track weighs in at.
In comes the frankly haunting introduction of Church Of The Fifth Season. When the guitar riff comes in some of my uneasiness (like watching a good horror) is lifted, it’s not deep and heavy like we’ve heard so far, but more proggy, psychadelic and epic. Whilst the track does regain the plodding heaviness this track shows more diversity in sound than the previous two tracks. Nothing like keeping things interesting, it’s well placed on the album.
The Map Is Not The Territory has a bluesy, sludgy groove. Sexton’s intense screamed vocal cuts through the proceedings like an eerie, devilish augmentation. When the track starts chugging we get to enjoy some understated blues lines, again making me appreciate the composers’ ability to add so much intrigue with little touches, before the song fades out into a fuzz or bass and guitar, which seems like a fitting end to this album.
This album is grim, abrasive, fascinating, joyous, slooooooow, monolithically heavy and epic all at once. I’m already salivating like a fat man waiting for pizza at the thought of what Projections 2 and 3 are going to bring. But concentrating on this release, the tracks draw you in to the point you’re fully involved in the music, captured in the sublime heaviness and almost hypnotic vocal that you feel may possess your soul. I was genuinely shocked when I sat down and looked at the timings of the songs, that not one of the tracks is less than 8 minutes, such is the level you get involved when listening.
Headless Kross is:
Derek Sexton – Bass /Vocals
Tommy Duffin – Guitar