Glaswegian doomsters Headless Kross first broke down my door with their colossal riffs on 2012’s Demises, two tracks of monolithic crush tinged with psychedelica. After a heavier than hell split with Lazarus Blackstar in 2013, their new record Volumes is ready to steamroll anything in its path in 2015.
Split into three massive tracks, Volumes is a statement of intent. A crushing riff cleaves the sky in the opening seconds of Rural Juror, before settling into a hypnotic, rumbling leviathan of a track. Almost like a much heavier Kyuss, Rural Juror has the droning quality that ebbs and flows, swirling you in psychedelic haze, glimpsing vast unknown lands in front of you. It takes a full eight minutes before any vocals appear, and the echoing howl comes from deep within the temple of riff.
There is a greatness about Headless Kross that you only come to appreciate the longer this record progresses. To write a 20 plus minute opening track on a doom record is laudable, but has been done before and done well. It is a calculation, running the risk of monotony and boredom. You never feel that here. There’s a heady atmosphere, and let’s be honest, with riffs this fucking huge, how could you ever get bored? When it finally winds down to a deathly crawl, squealing feedback and all, you’ll be mentally drained, but ready for more.
Who Is This Who Is Coming has a menacing intro, a humming tone of imminent doom. As cymbals crash, the crescendo builds and the riffs emerge from smoking voids in time. Bursts of crusty freakouts merge with monolithic riffing and tribal drumming to create a disturbing sonic experience. It then matures into a rocking doom workout, complete with a soulful solo, before coming back to the crushing doom with which they began. Yet, even with all these different elements playing their roles, Volumes is never disjointed, never jarringly out of place. Even when they up the pace, Headless Kross still pummel you into the ground with riff based destruction.
Even The Destroyed Things Have Been Destroyed ends the release on a more sombre note. There’s an infusion of melancholy in each thundering riff, and a hint of desperation in each howled scream. It’s a testament to the band that they can create something that is still based in such Cro-Magnon riffage, but give it that feeling of vulnerability. Volumes has that all the way through, a combination of emotion evocation and crushing riff punishment. This is a doom record that is going to be essential after each listen. Buy it, buy it now!
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson