Kaross - Molossus
Eastground Records
Stoner Hard Rock
13 songs (42'49")
Release year: 2007
Kaross, Eastground Records
Reviewed by Adam
Kaross are a four piece stoner rock outfit who have been riding a wave of success lately. After winning Partillerocken 2005, which, though I’m not familiar with, is a longstanding annual battle of the bands contest, the band was chosen to be the inaugural signing of newly formed label Eastground Records. Their debut album, Molossus, marks the proper beginning of the careers of both the band and the label.

The style of music Kaross play is one of deep, sludgy stoner rock. The guitars are supremely distorted, giving Molossus a sort of muddy quality. This takes little time to develop, as the opening single, Crimson Skies, begins with a distorted bass intro riff, which is simple yet effective. Once the bluesy guitars drop in, the music is absolutely drenched in low-end distortion, making for one of the thickest sounding rhythm sections I have heard in quite some time. The vocals of Magnus Knutas are sung in a low and grinding way. The comparison that immediately comes to mind is Lee Dorrian in his Cathedral capacity. The riffing is almost funky at times, and it really seems like the band is having a lot of fun here. Knutas shows off his range on the next track, Shovel. He lets loose a few times to hit higher octaves while still managing to keep the guttural and distorted tone to his voice. The vocals are further toyed with on Meat Me, adding harmonized portions for the chorus for fine results. You’ll notice that I’ve been focusing on the vocals a bit. This is due to the biggest detraction for Molossus, the repetitive sound of the riffing. This problem is common among bands of this style. That is not to say that the riffing is not well performed or written, but it is much better in small doses as you’ll start to feel like you’re going in circles by about the fifth track, Jam. The clean, southern rock type intro to 15+ is a nice change of pace, though, and goes a long way towards combating this issue. Lowrider tunes up the funk style of riffing, making them the focal point of the song. On a side note, you might have guessed from the genre description that the band is fond of a certain plant. If you didn’t pick up on that, the samples of pipes being lit and bong water bubbling should tip you off. If somehow, you still managed to miss this theme, the funky guitar showcase Bong Song should hammer the point home. A head nodding riff dominates the proceedings, and is accented by one of the few solos found on Molossus. Being a fan of doom, Chlorine is right up my alley. A darker atmosphere surrounds the song, and the chunky riffs are played much slower than the rest of the album, which makes them seem much heavier in my opinion.

Molossus is a good first effort, and it is easy to see why Kaross were chosen as the flagship act for Eastground Records. The production is outstanding and the riffing sounds great. I doubt I could ever consistently listen to this album all the way through because of the repetitive style, but I will surely return for a couple tracks at a time. Fans of Black Label Society or Monster Magnet should find more than enough to enjoy with this release.
Killing Songs :
Crimson Skies, Bong Song, Chlorine
Adam quoted 71 / 100
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