Sweden's Broken Cross are back with their second LP entitled Militant Misanthrope. And while lyrically the album does live up to its name, there's a lack of excitement here that keeps this record from being memorable.
First, the positive. Militant Misanthrope shows a marked difference in recording quality from Broken Cross's earlier material. There's a clarity here that is nowhere to be found in the rest of the band's discography (save for last year's split with VVegas). Broken Cross's previous outings were all extremely lo-fi - so much so that they're tough to listen to. Of course, as a fan of punk and metal I enjoy a lot of lo-fi music. But in order to get past the tin can sound quality, the music itself has to be interesting enough to grab my attention.
That's where Broken Cross comes up short. Yes, their songs are competantly assembled, the guitar riffs are decent (there's even the occasional face melter), and the drumming is heavy. But you could say that about a lot of metal records. There's just not a lot here to sink my teeth into.
One of the main problems has to do with the speed of the record. Though I would definitely classify Militant Misanthrope as thrash, Broken Cross never really gets their tempo above a lazy gallop. And I'm sorry, but I like my thrash blistering.
Also, when it comes to vocals, I'm biased toward the mid-range. So, Broken Cross doesn't really float my boat in that department either. Though the singer doesn't descend into burp voice territory, his guttural shouts don't do the sluggish pace of the music any favors.
Broken Cross is not a bad band. And Militant Misanthrope is not a bad record. But I can't find anything to love about either. However, if you're a fan of thrash metal (one not as nitpicky as I), I'd encourage you to check them out and decide for yourself.