Some people say that rock is dead. Perhaps the members of the screaming rock group Hot Cross thought they could bring the music back to life with Cryonics, but Hot Cross’ debut needs some serious musical reviving itself.
Hot Cross composes hard and energetic music, and the thrashing vocals are enough to get listeners pumped up, but all this becomes excessive on the album.
The lead singer’s voice can best be described as noise, but the melodic guitars help the album’s listenability by creating manageable songs.
The loud ranting often interferes with the sound of the band, creating an album that only the most hardcore of audiences will truly enjoy. The band demonstrates emotion, but those feelings are overshadowed by the way the lyrics are screamed, rather than sung.
Cryonics begins with “Fortune Teller,” a song that carries a chaotic sound mixed with a soft refrain. The backup singer adds harmony to the tune, but a harmony that seems lost behind all the yelling of Hot Cross’ lead man.
The few slower songs on this album seem out of place, but they’re also the songs worthy of a re-listen. “A Tale for the Ages” sounds as though it is an attempt to bring back the grunge sound that was born in the early ’90s with Nirvana and Soundgarden.
It is the slowest song on Cryonics, and it is also surprisingly good. The guitars and back-up vocals in the song make this the best song on the album.
Although ruined by the band’s inability to match the vocals to the mood of the tune, the riffs in “Patience and Prudence” are excellent.
This song exemplifies their essence, with the lyrics “These are new days/ With old stories/ So let’s wash the same denial/ In similar patterns/ Because the emotions have come/ Mere background noise.”
“Frozen by Tragedy” is an instrumental that excels by excluding Cryonics’ incessant screaming. It’s 2:44 of pure rock music.
Hot Cross’ tunes sound like they were made up by high school punk band, the screaming is what pushes Cryonics completely overboard.
The record creates an innovative blend of music, but doesn’t seem to get the death-metal-meets-emo sound quite right.
Hot Cross’ lead singer lacks vocal talent, though deep meanings and loud guitars save the album from being completely horrid.