Off The Cross is an Belgian metal band formed in 2016 out off the ashes of This Kid. In 2018 they released their EP ‘ERA’ and I had the privilege to review it back in the day. And it was an ass kicking EP. It was a shame it had only 4 songs because I wanted more. So I am very excited with their new album ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts.’ Especially since it’s the very first album with their new vocalist Daan Swinnen, I was looking forward to see how things held up.
The album starts with ‘Masks’ which already has a magical vibe. It’s not a very fast song or a very heavy but it hits you in the face just right. Awesome start of this new album. Mute.Deaf.Blind gives us a very different vibe with some very different paces and even some orchestra/symphonic pieces if I’m not mistaken. ‘Exist’ is another beauty and we’re only at the third song on this album at this point. These guys know how to make a song that slams you right in the face and is catchy as fuck. Then we have the first single that came out with ‘The Dance’ which was our very first acquaintance with their new album. And boy we we’re pleased with what we got with just the right mix of heaviness and catchiness. If this didn’t make a lot of heads turn, I don’t know what will…
It’s not over yet. Next up ‘This Too Shall Pass’ that kicks off with a very sinister intro with some piano pieces and again some nice orchestra. This was another single and got an interesting upgrade with the addition of the lovely the voice of Fabienne (known from Eluveitie). A very special song that probably is the closest we can get to an Off The Cross ballad. The song itself stays very soft but Off The Cross and guests create this awesome vibe. A very similar vibe I felt on their EP ‘ERA.’ Moving on with ‘A Broken Narrative’, they take it up a notch again. It’s more heavy than anything we’ve encountered before on this album. But to say this is a very soft album? Oh no it isn’t.
‘Strife’ is one of my personal favorites on this album. It just kicks ass, and if they continue making awesome music like this, these guys gonna make it to the top. ‘Dharma’ has also that Off The Cross stamp, you can just hear that this song belongs on this album. Just like all the rest it just fits. ‘Cease And Desist’ is another heavy bastard. They know how to mix the fast and heavy ones with the softer songs. It gives a more complete feeling to the album. Two more to go. ‘Blackbox’ has again that Off The Cross vibe that only Off The Cross can create. And I hope I’m not the only one that hears this. We end this magical album with the epic ‘A Life Lived To Die’, also the longest track on this album. It starts with an atmospheric intro and then explodes in some heavy guitar sounds and Daan (Vocals) who has the time of his life.
If you never heard of this band now it’s the time to check them out. With ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’, they’ve took a bit of a gamble by changing it up in their sound, but absolutely nailed it! The music still has that signature Off The Cross sound, while sounding catchier than ever without losing any of that heaviness we know them for. And their new vocalist Daan Swinnen matches perfectly with them! This album should get them definitely some international attention and well-deserved so!
Release date: April 29, 2021
- Mute Deaf Blind
- The Dance
- This Too Shall Pass
- A Broken Narrative
- Cease And Desist
- A Life Lived To Die