Metal Cross-Soul Ripper

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: February, 2022
Released:  2022, From The Vaults
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

Denmarks biggest and best Metal label by most standards has a relatively new sub-label called From The Vaults.  This sub-label is dedicated to the truest of the true, the underground sounds of USPM and classic 80’s Metal.  In the last couple of years they hey have burst out of the gate with strong albums by Gauntlet’s Rule (Sweden), Serpent Lord (Greece) and have even helped revived the careers of Tyson Dog and Alien Force.

Metal Cross is one of their new/old bands from Denmark.  The band existed in the 80’s in an embryonic form with a couple of demos but now  have released their first full-length debut album SOUL RIPPER.

I’ll  be honest, I was not familiar with the band from back in the day.  Probably just too obscure.  A bit of research shows that two-thirds of the original demo line-up is intact proving perhaps that once a Metalhead, always a Metalhead…even 35 years later.   History aside, Metal Cross is a molten slab of classic Metal.

This compact eight track, 42-minute album puts us through our paces right from the start.  The overall feel is one of energy and propulsion, not extremely fast but very quick paced start to finish.    There is no filler like interludes or extended introductions or ballads, they just get down to the business of forging the Metal.

To my tastes the album standout track is ‘The Fall Of Cimbra’. Speed, power, great solos, catchy chorus and epic lyrics; it is a highlight for sure.  Everything is rock sloid, good guitar tone, good mix and production and each individual performer pulls their weight equally.

Metal Cross know how to write a good catchy Metal song.  All the songs are memorable and fun but not overly sweet and they avoid novelty or flash. If you seek high-levels of originality in your Metal, this might not be for you as the band prefer to keep it true.

Metal has a lot of trends, bands come and go, new styles and genres emerge but deep below all that, there are just dozens and dozens of core bands, pure and true who just make Metal for the sake of Metal. Substance over style.  Will SOUL RIPPER stand out from the 8000+ albums that will get released in 2022?  Will they make a bunch of year-end lists of the big magazines like Revolver?  Probably not but for the true fans of the underground, guys like me who have following the underground for decades, I’d rather hear Metal Cross any day than any mainstream band.

Track Listing:

1. My Time
2. Soul Ripper
3. Written in the Sand
4. Fall of Cimbria
5. Distasteful Party
6. Memento Mori
7. The Drone
8. Vernal Equinox

Line up:

Peter Mogensen-Drums, Vocals
Michael Hartmann-Guitar
John Lybæk-Guitar, Vocals
Ole Quist-Bass
Esben Fosgerau Juhl-Vocals