OFF THE CROSS
Release: November 2, 2018
After the release of their highly acclaimed debut album 'Divided Kingdom', it's been about time for something new. Something special. The start of a new era for Belgian's up and coming metal outfit Off The Cross! After having played all over Europe in support of the band's first full-length including shows at Graspop Metal Meeting and many more, Off The Cross are set to release their brand new EP in the fall of 2018. 'Era' came out on November 2th. Loud, heavy and relentless, will still be the best description for a band such as Off The Cross, and it will remain like this. For the band, writing music is a way of processing life. A way of expressing feelings for those who haven’t learned how to do it otherwise.
The ‘’Era’’ EP takes you through four chapters in a defining era in one's life, from self-destruction to the search for salvation.
Says the band: “Musically, we felt we needed to push the boundaries, recording as much real life instruments possible and minimising midi and other simulated instruments.For a big drumsound we went to the brand-new creative residence DAFT studios in Malmedy. A big room surrounded by nature made for an ideal place to record. Guitars, bass, and vocals were recorded in our second home: The Dungeon, a cosy high-end studio in Lier, Belgium.”
The Organ is a fundamental part of the Off The Cross sound which in the past was recorded digitally. As they wanted to raise the bar on this, Off The Cross invited Joost Van Den Broek, known for his bands such as After Forever and Ayreon, as well as producer of acts like Epica, Powerwolf or Vuur. Besides ripping it up on the Hammond organ Joost also recorded some beautiful piano parts on the Hermann Jacobi grand piano at the Sandlane Recording Facilities in The Netherlands.
Next to that the band was backed by a 35-headed choir, cello, saxophone, and percussion. This was recorded in the majectical Sint-Augustinus church in Antwerp, which contributed to the big sound the band achieved. Recorded, mixed and co-produced by Filip Goris and a mastering from Jens Bogren (Opeth, Arch Enemy and At The Gates) brought Off The Cross and their very special EP release to a next level.
‘“Era’’ contains a very interesting mix of four completely different songs and influences. ‘’The Goddess’’ is a bit harsher than ‘’The Silence’’, which more or less feels like a ballad in the verses. ‘’The Silence’’ also seems to have a bit of progressive influences, which to me personally is a bit of a weird mix with screaming vocals because that sound is really straightforward. ‘’The Mist’’ appears to be a bit more towards the power/symphonic end of the spectrum, on ‘’Era’’ there really is something for everyone (also, is that a saxophone?). ‘’The Saviour’’ has a higher tempo and seems a bit heavier than the previous three songs. It is a nice way to conclude the entire EP.
In conclusion, ‘’Era’’ is a very allround EP to show of Off The Cross’s skills and repertoire. I like the guest musicians as well, but I don’t think they actually needed them. They would have done perfect on themselves too.
I rate the EP a 4 out of 5!
In support of the band's upcoming EP, OFF THE CROSS will be playing live on the following dates, with many more to come:
03.11.18 BE M.A.C.C. / Deerlijk
16.11.18 BE Trix Club / Antwerpen (EP Release Show)
24.11.18 BE Troyfest - Club de B / Torhout
For More Info Visit:
Jens De Vos
Steven Van Crombruggen