Doom metal from USA, latest full-length album released in 2010.
|Las Cruces BIOGRAPHY George Trevino-Guitars, Paul De Leon-Drums, Mando Tovar- Guitars, Jimmy Bell- Bass- Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Las Cruces has spent the past several years bludgeoning audiences with their Doom-Driven Precision sound. Influences ranging from Venom, Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning to vintage Sabbath. Las Cruces has risen to the top of the South Texas metal heap and left its mark across the Lone Star State. With a resume that includes opening slots with such acts as Overkill, Nebula, Kyuss, Trouble, Spirit Caravan, Solitude Aeturnus, Cathedral, Monster Magnet, Ignitor, Activator, Jack Knife, Rob Zombie, Bio-Hazard, Pissing Razors, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Soilent Green, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Sixty Watt Shaman, Archie Bunker, Vader, Kreator, Debris Inc., Atomic Bitchwax, Reverand Bizarre, Orodruin, Gates of Slumber, Earthride, Against Nature, Pale Devine, Kamelot, Well of Souls & many others, Las Cruces is poised to take its brand of music to the masses. Formed in 1994 by George Trevino, Las Cruces began touring the Texas scene, gaining widespread recognition and the interest of John Perez, guitarist of Solitude Aeturnus & owner of Brainticket Records. Thus forging the Debut release: S.O.L.(1996-Brainticket Records). After a year of touring Texas and the Southern States, Las Cruces decided to re-enter the studio. Driven by the hunger and sharpness of old school metal along with the power melodies of 70s rock, Las Cruces released their skull-crushing follow-up, 1998s Ringmaster(Brainticket Records). Las Cruces was invited to perform at the first annual Stoner Hands of Doom Fest in August of 1999 and have been asked to perform regularly at these events. Las Cruces then began some extensive touring that gained them the well deserved exposure and respect of many of their peers. During 2001 Las Cruces returned to the studio to record & release "Lowest End". Las Cruces was also featured in "The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal" by Author Daniel Bukszpan in 2003 as well as in the publication 'Rockdetector music presents: "Stoner, Doom and Gothic metal" series published in 2003. Las Cruces are poised to begin the metal onslaugth for the masses as they prepare to record their 3rd full length album. Over the years Las Cruces have gone through line-up changes & rumors of break-up. However, these things have not foiled the bands ideology. The 2005 Las Cruces line-up is the most solid & unified members to date. Discography: 1996:S.O.L.L.P.-Brainticket Records 1998:RingmasterL.P.-Brainticket Records 1999:Farewellsingle- (Stone Deaf Forever Italian C.D. comp) Red Sun Records 2000:The Prisoner single- (Iron Maiden Tribute) Meteor City Records 2000:RingmasterL.P.-(German release) Gutter Records 2001:In My Sadness single- (Movie soundtrack I Am Vengeance) Meteor City Records 2001:S.O.L.L.P.-(German release) Gutter Records 2001:Lowest End E.P. -(Cross-Eyed Records) satanspace.com/graphics/layouts Free.|
Las Cruces At MySpace
The new album by Las Cruces has an unusual set of circumstances surrounding its delivery: twelve years since the last album, two and a half years after recording was finished, nearly two years after the vocalist on it moved on and containing all three tracks from a nine year old EP. A complicated and overdue birth it has been for Dusk, a birth in the still long shadow of its elder sibling and attended by the expectations raised by a ripping set at Templars of Doom II. So what exactly has coming kicking and squalling into the world of doom…a beast?..a problem child? …an extension of the legacy?...a changeling?...all of the above really…
“Wizard” comes thundering out of the speakers and revelations battle for attention and focus. Gone is the ultra powerful and shiny production that graced Ringmaster and one can’t help but miss it, especially when the guitar onslaught falls back in the mix. At the same time you can hear strides forward in wickedness and riff mastery, and a dirt and grit not present to this extent in the past. The song alternates between a lumbering lead heavy doom sections, where it threatens at time to become heavier than anything that they have done before and at other times steps on the gas in a head-banging frenzy. The rhythm section is up front in the mix, with the bass truly thundering and the drums “right there” clear down to the cymbal nuances, but carrying an almost dusty, organic feel. Over it all the forceful exultations of Mark Zamarron carry the first of a slew of dark tales. As always, his vocal power is astounding and it is quite difficult, after listening to this album, to comprehend the size of the shoes that drummer Paul Deleon has to fill by now taking on vocal duties.
“Revelations” is a mid paced grooving doom bruiser, that at once benefits in weight from the bass heavy mix and has one wishing the rhythm guitars were as forefront and forceful as the leads and the rhythm section. They are right there in the background, snapping, snarling and sawing. The solos come ripping right out to flay eardrums. The song despite its significant groove, is just a wicked, nasty assault from start to finish, which can basically be said of the album as a whole. This has to be one of the downright nastiest, dirtiest and meanest slabs of American doom to see daylight in many a year. “Cocaine Wizard Woman” shows Las Cruces’ stellar ability to invoke the elements of blues and southern rock so many bands have tried unsuccessfully to bring into heavier territory, in a brutally effective manner. Las Cruces does it while remaining completely free of the overbearing affectation that most often hampers the mixing of genres, it does not sound planned in the least…just completely organic and natural. In addition, Las Cruces has a very special ability to raise the ghosts of genre’s past without raising the usual specters of doubt of metal credibility. Make no mistake Las Cruces is “to the bone” metal. “Burning Bright” drags the mouldering corpse of 70’s hard rock from its oft disturbed grave and into a pit of hell that works a churning dark magic that manages to make even boogie (shudder, shudder) do the metal work for it a bit.
“Wings of Gold” continues the mid-paced punishment in that style that has become a Las Cruces trademark. It’s nearest sonic neighbor might be the DC doom scene, but there is an undeniable individuality to the bludgeon of Las Cruces and a heaviness and a metal quotient the DC scene has rarely approached (outside of Death Row/Pentagram at the heights of their power). When they hit stride like they do here it is just awesome to behold. “Banished” marks the first appearance of the tracks from 01’s Lowest End ep, and it is a welcome revisiting, the bottom heaviness adding some new dimensions and a boon for those who have not heard the poorly distributed ep. The title track again has me wishing for the skull crushing guitar production/mix from Ringmaster, but is in no way hindered to the point where the outright malice and malignancy are not vibrant. “Farwell” again drags material from the ep from the crypt in which it was prematurely buried to lurch and lumber in search of fresh blood. “The Level” brings an unexpected thrash/death gargle to the vocals and a more straight forward arrangement than it fellow disc mates, but is strangely not the most punishing thing by a long stretch…an interesting interlude, but not a standout.
“Roll of the Die” begins in bass driven moodiness until just before a minute in it erupts into mammoth riffery of the finest fashion and then steps back into some moody groove -based reflection almost reminiscent of Soundgarden at their heaviest. A side step from the main thrust of Dusk but fear not metal heads, the best is right around the corner. “Killing Fields” is a behemoth doom epic. From the sinister opening sound effects to the simple and infinitely heavy main riff, to the palpable sense of darkness and evil in the vocals, it’s like the soundtrack to Blood Meridian crossed with Texas Chainsaw Massacre all filtered through the Salem witch trials. An absolutely pulverizing gem is what it is. You can just see the blood red of a Texas sunset fading, the dust being blown hard by the devil winds and feel the bleating goat’s terror of that which will come with the darkness. “Grin” wraps up both the revisiting of the ep tracks and the album with an iron bound run through this metal jewel filled with stellar riffing and a ridiculously catchy and ultra-metal chorus.
I can’t say the very different production/mix has not been an ongoing struggle, but slowly some ways that it serves the material are revealing themselves. I can, however, emphatically say that is no reason whatsoever to hesitate here. This album has been hotly anticipated for very good reason. Las Cruces is a national treasure of doom. This crushes and slays with a malevolence that is harshly brutal. The performances are spot on through out and you need this badly…badly and quickly.