It’s a rare thing when you find a band who can play metal just like Americans did in the 1980s and even more scarce when they aren’t even American.
It’s then as rare as rocking horse shit when you discover such a band is based in County Down, Northern Ireland, but here we are, with The Crux.
Formerly known as Warcrux (insert strongarm emoji here) they released their debut EP back in 2011. The name change occurred in 2017 when the band released another EP, Warcrux: Circa ‘09-13’ under the revamped monicker The Crux. Slightly confusing but we know where we are now.
The band was founded by James Boyd (vocals) and Neil Ward (guitars) and is completed now by Richie Wilson (bass) plus Gordy Gray (drums), although the drums on the album were laid down by Phil Horner of Conjuring Fate.
The intriguingly titled Immersed Somewhere Divine is very much a classic-metal affair, with thrash being the dominant force.
The obligatory short intro track was quite disconcerting as it reminded me of a Maiden opening during the Blaze Bailey era but all was well when I got stuck into the album proper.
“Lycanthropy” gets us underway in a powerful, threatening fashion and the mood continues on “Baptism of Fire”.
James Boyd has a fair range with his vocal performance, being able to move from the shouty end of the metal scale to a smoother, more rock-friendly tone. Impressive stuff.
Uber-fast riffing and soloing from Neil Ward are to be found on the faster tracks but he’s also happy to turn his hand to heavier, more intense playing on tracks such as “On the Fence” and “Wretches and Fiends”.
The album is generally thrash central until the final 2 tracks where things take a quieter, more melodic turn. “Time Will Tell” maintains the intensity of previous tracks but Boyd sings in a smoother, more emotive way.
The big finish comes in the form of “Ties That Bind 2011” a bonus track from their previous incarnation. It’s a straight up classic-metal track and is a killer tune. It’s a complete removal from the rest of the album but is still a total diamond. This track is The Crux’s signature anthem and is akin to how “Nothing Else Matters” fits into the Metallica canon. Check out the video below of an acoustic version of the track.
Immersed Somewhere Divine is a powerful metal album and I’d recommend it to fans of classic metal and thrash alike. Good work, guys!