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David Cross - David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow CD (album) cover


David Cross

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars This release will open up new audiences to the, somewhat lost in the crowd, King Crimson ex member David Cross.

For starters "Sign of the Crow", 2016, is closer to the Rock METAL categories, rather than Jazz or Fusion as such and by far.

The "David Cross Band", the actual name in this title's release and their sixth studio album, uncovers most of the mystery of this sound as their line up since 2008 will show.- Jinian Wilde their vocalist, leading drummer Craig Blundell, composer/guitarist Paul Clark and composer/bassist Mick Paul and adding up in this release keyboardist Alex Hall, and evidently David Cross on violin and music writing.

The Metal attitude contrasts with the more acoustic oriented Cross, thus adding a meltdown of moods, which counterpoint constantly and excitingly. This band has been polishing this music style's crossroads, considering also that some members have their own mothership bands and projects, thus summing up different approaches and experiments, from fast paced frantic tracks to more dream like, acoustic ballads, but never falling far from the "metallic" tree.

The Experimental/Post Metal or Progressive Metal taggings, I have been suggested, will fit this band and album, and I, knowing the unassumed importance and irrelevance of enclosing music in between boxes, will be the first to state how important this labelings are for its distibution to target audiences and obviously for its proper marketing, but in actual fact I have heard "heavier" Heavy Metal in non Metal categories ( i.e. in this same PA's address noisy neighbor Jeff Beck), so I leave its labeling to you my friend.

Anyway,back to the music. Daring, highly suited as an ensemble adding up for multiple creativeness by all members. A strange kind of clash which acts as an incentive for all kind of focuses and directions, kept in size, somehow by the vocals, which opposite to most bands, are part of the act and not the full show, as few bands can do.

****4 PA stars.

Report this review (#1596034)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2016 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars The best album King Crimson never made

Sign Of The Crow is the second release and the first studio album to be credited to David Cross Band (rather than just simply David Cross). The first time the full band moniker was used was for the excellent live album Alive In The Underworld released in 2008. The leader of the band is obviously David Cross himself, best known from his participation in King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. The rest of the band is made up of Paul Clark on guitars, Mick Paul on bass, Jinian Wilde on vocals, and Craig Blundell on drums, with Alex Hall contributing keyboards to some of the tracks. Cross himself also plays keyboards in addition to his main instrument the electric violin. Personally, I love the violin in a Rock context and appreciate bands who use it like Curved Air, UK, and FM.

Even though this new album comes a little over a decade after David Cross' previous Rock album, 2005's Closer Than Skin, there is nonetheless a natural continuation between that album and the present one. Both Closer Than Skin and Sign Of The Crow are excellent progressive Rock albums in the vein of King Crimson during Cross' time with that band only more melodic and less experimental - and, in my opinion, much better! The Jazz-Rock/Fusion categorisation Cross has received here is really only appropriate for his first solo album. Most of his albums are more fittingly categorised as Eclectic Prog.

Sign Of The Crow has a nice flow and variation. Highlights include the opener Starfall, the title track, and the folky The Pool, but the whole album is strong. It is quite incredible that someone who entered the music business such a long time ago is producing his best albums in recent years, but that is indeed what David Cross (born 1949) is doing. In my opinion, Sign Of The Crow is the best record David Cross has ever made!

Highly recommended together with Closer Than Skin and Alive In The Underworld. Now, I'm hoping that another live release (preferably a full length concert on DVD video) will follow featuring songs from the present album as well as some of the best songs from Cross' previous solo albums plus a wealth of King Crimson classics.

Report this review (#1602628)
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2016 | Review Permalink

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