Russians Cross Bringer target trickery, corruption on raging opus ‘Signs of Spiritual Delusion’

We live in a strange time of delusions. You can sense that just by paying at attention to the current presidential race or, you know, to the guy in the White House and his strange band of followers who have fallen hard for an intense line of bullshit that’s ruining people’s mental states.

Much of what’s led to this has been people having a crisis of faith and falling in with an idea system that appears to promise salvation but really is flimsy fantasy with no one winning expect the people at the top. Cross Bringer hail from a world away from the American political system, as they reside in Russia, but they concentrate on similar ideas, or the theme of a prelest, on their great debut record “The Signs of Spiritual Delusion.” Trying to disassociate from delusion and lies presented to oneself and breaking the chains of dictatorship are things they’d know quite well living where they do, and the band—they are comrpised of members of Euglena and the Homeless Is Dead—channels their anger into their art and also tries to find new hope by spreading kindness, which the world needs in spades.

“Untitled (Prayer)” bleeds into the picture as sounds waft and whispers scurry, while the tide begins to rise. Shrieks rain down as the pounding is meted out slowly, pushing into “The Battle of the Weak” where Aleksandrov’s vocals rage into order, and the guitars rush into a crushing tempo. The playing is relentless and utterly shreds any sense of sanity while the drums pulverize brains, and a quick gear switch keeps things violent and blasting. “Supplication/Sacrament” is the longest track here, running 7:33, letting guitars emerge slowly before the playing it torn apart, the shrieks and guitars combine to maul serenity. Leads swirl and create a strange hell before the guitars divebomb, lighting up the room. The pace continues to pound away as the shrieks stun, the pacing brings humidity, and everything ends in scathing melodies.

“The Sun Ritual” is a quick instrumental that brings cool air and a feeling of basking in beams of light, steering into “Temptation of Naivety (Untamable Black Dog)” that opens up the record’s guts. Aleksandrov’s shrieks smear hell like piles of soot while vicious punishment is dealt, agitating the fires already set. From there, the drums explode, and the track ends in a pit of feedback. “Torture Incantation” is a healthy 6:51 and instantly delivers a burst of rage, bringing raucous fury and an increasingly rising temperature. “I hope you choke on your own choices,” Aleksandrov cries as the drums decimate, and the playing speeds and tangles. Shrieks pound flesh as a hellish fury boils over and bows out in a haze. Closer “Self-Inflicted Martyrdoma” is a massive as it begins, with guitars stabbing and shrieks stunning. “I want to disappear,” Aleksandrov calls as the anger and frustration mount a final offense, and the track smashes away, leaving a morbid blood smear.

Destroying controlling power structures and waking people up from fantasy existences may seem like an impossible mission, and for many, it actually will be a hard awakening the day reality returns. Cross Bringer shine a vicious light on that with “The Signs of Spiritual Delusion,” a great debut record that aligns black metal, hardcore, and post-rock quaking. There remains hope, hard as it may be to unearth, but finding that salvation can mean the difference between living in truth or lies.

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