Headless Kross - Projections II (2019)
Following up on the 2016 release of Projections I, with a live album sandwiched between, Headless Kross have popped back up to deliver the second installment. As with the first one, they bring four tracks to bear, each of them hovering around the ten-minute mark, and their fusion of heaviness and melodic emphasis (as we encountered on their Volumes album, back in 2015) is still solid as hell.
“Signed in Blood” is the first of the tracks, and it bursts into action with harsh yells and a riff that feels like it's looking for a fight. The drums lean into that vibe, punctuating measure round-outs with battering beats, and once the initial volley of aggression has been launched, the song settles into a slower groove while holding onto that opening roughness. The tone and fuzz are quite tasty, with the bass' reverb looming out over the higher-register components, and the almost scratchy timbre of the guitar gives its spidery chords a bit of spine-tingling eeriness.
“One Hundred and Forty Four Mirrors” shakes up the flavor with some warbling flange on the bass, a shifty, near-jittery rhythm from the drums, and some striking soloing from the guitar. The vocals still feel like they're being punched out of the singer, but they make it work with the overall oppressive atmosphere, and once they settle into the main groove, they ride it hard to the finish. “Falls the Shadow” leads into the B-side, spotlighting some cool rhythm alternation between guitar and drums before shifting into more of a heavy grind mode. There's some enjoyable progressions, especially in their outro change-ups, and they give off the impression of this being one that can really lead to some fun experimentation in live sets.
Lastly, “The Obstacles Becomes the Path” takes listeners on an exploratory groove dive, feeling something like a structured jam session for much of its run. About halfway through, though, they tighten it up for a ramping up of tempo and intensity, pushing the central riff on until hitting the finishing disintegration. There's plenty of heaviness to let wash over you on this album, and once the riffs get planted in your head, it's a serious challenge to uproot them. So if you've been looking for some anger-soaked doom to round out your year, Headless Kross have got you covered.
For Fans Of; Heavydeath, HellLight, Humbaba, Salem's Pot, Wounded Giant