What defines “being metal”? Is it the heaviness of the music? The members involved? Do you review a Hank Williams III album because he frequently plays in bands with Phil Anselmo? Do I put an R.E.M. album in here because their current drummer used to play in KMFDM and Ministry (Really!)?

While Crosses, the self-titled debut EP from Shaun Lopez of Far and Chino Moreno of Deftones, is definitely not a metal record, its’ member reps certainly warrants that it gets a nod in this space. How many metal anthems has Deftones knocked out in the past 15 years. Have you heard Far? While not as heavy as Deftones, the same aesthetic is there and they came up through the ranks with Will Haven so they’re guilty by association in my book.

For a free 5-track EP, you won’t get better than this. Starting off with “This Is A Trick”, Lopez and Moreno immediately set the tone more in line with Chino’s Team Sleep (Or Trent Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels) project than any of their day jobs. Drum beats galore, hushed vocals, and some subtle guitar licks are the lay of the land on this one. “Option” is probably the “heaviest” on here thanks to a crunching razorblade sharp guitar riff that starts it off but then goes into the ether thanks to Moreno’s epic choruses. Ending with the keyboard/sample-laden “Cross” with its’ middle eastern tinged groove, Moreno’s and Lopez’s collabo exits your life as soon as it entered with barely 20 minutes passed.

If you like any of the members involved or Team Sleep, then downloading this is a no brainer. Plus, it’s free. What have you got to lose besides a few bytes of memory on your hard drive?

Crosses is out now. Download your free EP here.


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