Downcross – White Tower

4 min read

Band: Downcross
Title: White Tower
Label: Cavum Atrum Rex
Release date: May 10th, 2024
Country: Belarus
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Downcross is a Black Metal band coming from Belarus, and they define their music as “Anti-Cosmic Black Metal”. I was curious about it, and I must admit, I really enjoyed this album since the first listen. Little I knew that “White Tower” is the sixth full-length album released by this Black Metal duo in 5 years, woah, not bad at all in terms of productivity! And as I can hear in their newest stuff, great quality also.

The album clocks around 43 minutes, 9 tracks with a short instrumental-synth piece in the middle, a small break, an enjoyable but short voyage out of one’s mind. The last song in “White Tower” is also a synth/keys track, this one is 4 minutes and a half long, and it has something relaxing and soothing in it. It’s the icing on the cake that this album is, a melodic and atmospheric journey through darkness.

The two men in the band are Ldzmr (Vladimir Borodulin) – vocals and drums; and Dzmtr (Dmitri Romanovsky) – guitars. They manage to create a gloomy ambiance (also with some kind of “shiny moments”), and they keep the essence of Black Metal with all those tremolo icy riffs, the raspy vocals delivering very good screams, drums playing plenty of blast beats and also shifting to different tempos (the song “Only Death is Faithful to You” has a slower rhythm, and it’s made of the thickest darkness out from a deep hole)… And the bass, not just a filler, but with a predominant role (a thing that I always love, and I thank the bands for making this instrument audible. Much respect!).

The album starts with plenty of energy. “I Am Entropy” is a song that strikes with vicious riffs, drums that can stand out marking a furious pace but also be the perfect basis for the guitar work, a mindblowing bass all the song through (specially near the end, with a stellar moment), raspy angry vocals that rips off your ears and a brilliant rhythmic section. Can’t imagine a better opener for an album of this kind.

I was talking about the dark atmosphere surrounding this album, and I must mention that there are some passages that can sound a little “brighter” than the rest. These songs are built with many shades, with different and perfectly balanced moods, leading the listener to a full experience of both Black Metal worship and turning some dark emotions into solace as the music flows. “I Deny the World of Me” is a perfect example of what I’m trying to say; it starts with some classic structures, there are icy riffs, mid-tempo drums and then there come the blast beats, a dark tone… Vocals are harsh and screams are brutal and wicked… Near the two final minutes of the song, a synth passage seems to turn it all into something transcendental, but the wild screams return and it’s like being brainwashed with brutality and at the same time it feels like a soothing balm… A fantastic ride of emotions, indeed.

The songs in “White Tower” deliver some raw brutality mixed with great melodies, which makes it an emotional journey, a flowing and “alive” album. At the same time that you are listening to it, you are experiencing it. The two synth tracks are the counterpoint to the predominant harshness; blurred and gloomy landscapes between sharpened and damn cold ambiances… how not to love it?

Demiurge Must Eliminate Himself” is another crushing song full of emotion, it’s vibrating, intense, I’m lost in the massive guitar and bass work! But of course, if I focus on drums, I’d say that their work is insane too! Same as in the following “AlphaBeast WorldMurderer pt.II”, what a display of energy! I particularly love that part in the middle of the song when drums sound like a damn destruction machine. It’s really hard to breathe while this beast of a man is destroying his kit. The final screams, full of horror, freeze the blood in my veins. It’s followed by the closing theme, “Downcross”, synth melodies flowing into the infinite void, and with this I regain all my sanity that was lost more than half an hour ago.

Anyway, this album has so many things going on that I can’t even try to point them all. There is absolutely nothing I don’t like or miss, all is in its perfect place. For me, this is 10/10 by Sílvia

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10/10 Immortal Classic
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