Mongrels Cross - The Sins of Aquarius
Hells Headbangers
7 songs (41:16)
Release year: 2012
Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Charles
If accurate punctuation is your thing, please note there should be an apostrophe in the band name but it made the review go all screwy when I added it. The cross is the possession of the mongrel!

Anyway. Here is some truly blistering blackened thrash, from Australia- why is every extreme metal album I hear from Australia really good? Anyway, Mongrels Cross are another name for the list. Sins of Aquarius is heavy as hell, capable of both screeching speed and massive grooves, though it’s perhaps the former that wins out overall here.

Opening with grim church organ parping that sounds like it should be introducing the on-screen appearance of Vincent Price, the title track roars in with a rumbling vigour that continues uninterrupted for the next forty minutes. A few things strike immediately: the hoarse, gasping vocals, for one, and the hook-laden, D666-like energy of the riffing, for another. This song switches around different tempos relentlessly, climaxing in a massive striding groove that sets the neck to work. But then we are catapulted mercilessly into Rabid Inception, with its frenetic blast recalling Marduk at top speed. The kinetic energy emitted from the record can be immense- witness the scorching tempo that begins Indulge the Temple.

An old school simplicity is also key here. This is particularly obvious on Lead them from the Promised Land, which has a stomping riff that could easily fit on Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark and a wanton 80s guitar solo to boot. Same could be said for Hunters of the Born Again, which alternates between this and a Carpathian Forest like scamper. The closing statement is the clanking, embittered When the Dragon Gives Birth, a procession of roiling, turbulent riffs that, over the course of seven minutes, crush any remnants of resistance. Sins of Aquarius is fierce.

Killing Songs :
Sins of Aquarius, Lead them from the Promised Land, When the Dragon Gives Birth
Charles quoted 80 / 100
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