EARLY CROSS – PATHFINDER

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Out now on Lion Music

Its not everyday a Japanese band gets picked up by a label outside their native country, yet Lion Music have seen fit to offer Early Cross exposure outside their homeland, and it’s a good find too.

Marketed as proto-prog this is metal with some progressive elements, yet also a more ethereal sound with calm and tranquil moments.  Opener “Ashes & Yarrow” is a good indicator of the cross section of moods heard, yet the band rock hard on “Cry Havoc” which is a delightfully punchy number and one where the impressive guitar work of Hiroaki Kato fuses well with the lead vocals of Natasha Vaichuk, whose delicate voice makes a welcome change from all the Tarja wannabes that plague metal these days.

This is by no-means immediate stuff, but given a chance to soak in has a very charming presence about it, yet one you will need to be in the right mood to listen to from start to finish.  As it stands “pathfinder” is a solid opening statement from Early Cross and suggests a good future ahead.  Nice artwork and strong production too.

Rating – 86%

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