Richmond, Virginia is like a fucking metal melting pot. From doom like Windhand to hellish heavy metal like Battlemaster to black metal like Appalling, Richmond seems to have every subgenre in the bag. Death metal here is no different and Left Cross, alongside bands like Vorator, are leading the charge. And it’s a fucking (death) striking charge.
The end of 2017 sees the first full length from Left Cross titled Chaos Ascension, and it’s a fucking banger from the first track to the eighth and final. Definitely for fans of the old ways, with a subtle hardcore undercurrent the way the dirty 90’s spewed up, Left Cross have spent a few years slowly burning, releasing several EPs and touring up and down the eastern seaboard. I spoke with Scott Bartley (drums, also of the excellent Antichrist Siege Machine) briefly about their new offering.
“Through death metal, you can push yourself mentally and physically while at the same time writing songs that have hooks so people can latch onto your song,” Bartley responds when I ask him what keeps death metal so vital. “In the end, it is a personal preference and death metal is the medium we have chosen to work within.“
And how about Richmond’s multitudes of metal, how does Left Cross sit in with that?
“[I] think it’s a hotbed of creativity,” Bartley elaborates. “There’s so much overlap in the genres and most of that can be attributed to the tight-knit scene we have in the city. Almost everyone knows everyone and that can build stronger connections than those based off of similar music preferences.”
Chaos Ascension keeps it within the city, seeing LP release through Richmond-based Vinyl Conflict, who released their EP Hell is Hell last year. Primarily a punk label, it’s a testament to the tight knit scene Scott described earlier. Chaos Ascension is one of the last great death metal bangers coming out in an already abundant 2017.