"The Sins of Aquarius"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here's a band that does death metal exactly the way it should be done...with passion, intelligence and merciless brute force! Mongrel's Cross hail from Australia, which has produced a lot of great extreme metal such as Destroyer 666, Bestial Warlust and the mighty Razor of Occam in the past. Based on "The Sins of Aquarius", Mongrel's Cross is sure to join this elite group.

What makes each of the seven tunes here so great is the feeling of epic majesty they have. It's perfect music for an army of armor-clad orcs to march to. The tunes are all long enough to unfold and develop in their own time. Although there are many parts where the band blasts and scorches at high speeds, that's not the main focus of their music. They are masters of the mid-tempo "ancient"-sounding riff. I have never heard so many majestic marching guitar hooks on one album. From the opening title track to the final fade out of "When The Dragon Gives Birth", you are constantly battered by powerful, martial-sounding guitar riffs that conjure images of demonic armies doing battle under a blood red sky. It's really hard to point out specific highlights, so my advice is just play the whole damn album and get ready to split skulls for Satan!

To nitpick just a tiny bit, a couple tunes go on for a bit too long and the roaring vocals are overly familiar. But these are pretty insignificant points when you are faced with the grand totality of "The Sins of Aquarius". This is one of the top discs of the year for lovers of magnificent, malevolent metallic excess.