Brutal Cross is the extreme metal one-man band of Polish ex-pat Tomasz Sulowski, currently residing in Ireland. At War marks Brutal Cross’s third outing, following 2011’s Trilogy and 2012’s Symphony of Destruction. Bookended by a movie soundtrack-style intro and outro, the album shows wider influences than the band’s previous albums. Although technically a death metal band with black metal influences (or blackened death metal), a few songs in, the stereotypical extreme metal formula drops off and we start to hear a lot of early-’80s metal axework with death metal vocals — and the results are quite nice. A couple of songs near the end of the album feature clean vocals, as well as the Celtic-influenced vocals leading off “Silence of the Cross.” (It brings to mind a certain acoustic number from the first Seventh Angel record.) Hard to believe this is a one-man effort, as Tomasz certainly puts some full bands to shame. Highly recommended.
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