Friday, July 24, 2020

Mongrel's Cross Reveal Cover and Track Listing For New Album

Mongrel's Cross revealed the cover and tracklisting for their highly anticipated third album, Arcana, Scrying and Revelation, which will be released this autumn by Hells Headbangers on CD and vinyl LP formats. This album marks the arrival of Absu’s Proscriptor as their vocalist. Cover art, courtesy of Kris Verwimp, and tracklisting are as follows:

Track List
1. Suffer the Witch to Live [6:07]
2. Fate of the Grail PT. I [4:53]
3. A Magician’s Prayer [5:22]
4. Fate of the Grail PT. II [6:02]
5. As a Being Undead [5:21]
6. What the Cards May Tell [6:09]
7. The Whispering Void [4:45]

Hailing from the extreme metal hotbed of Australia, Mongrel’s Cross were once of the best-kept secrets Down Under. The band’s debut album, The Sins of Aquarius, was released in 2012 via Hells Headbangers, and presented an unselfconsciously unique twist on paradigmatic Oz black/death. Grimily gratifying, Mongrel’s Cross unleashed a widescreen span of filthy thrashing, down-tempo war-marches, and epic metal grandeur alike, and diehards dutifully took note. Unfortunately, lineup struggles would hamper momentum, and it would take six long years before another recording reared its head.

However, when Mongrel’s Cross at last emerged from their hiatus, now pared down to a duo, the dividends paid off handsomely. Released in 2018 to widespread international acclaim, Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court soon became something of a modern classic to any and all who heard it. Mongrel’s Cross didn’t so much as change during the interim as simply intensify and fine-tune their iron-fisted attack, here conveying an altogether more terrifying and triumphant aspect. It was the age-old axis of form meeting content, and rarely had a metal record this cleanly produced sounded so threatening, which simply underlined the powerful panache to the band’s strong songwriting. Mongrel’s Cross had truly arrived with Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court – and thankfully, people were now paying attention.

Keeping that shit-hot momentum going, Mongrel’s Cross scored quite the coup in acquiring the legendary vocal skills of Absu’s incomparable Proscriptor for their third full-length. Bearing the appropriately magickal title of Arcana, Scrying and Revelation, these Aussie hooligans-turned-heroes are set to deliver yet another decisive and undeniable album. Mongrel’s Cross are on the march, ready to take the throne that’s rightfully theirs.

If its no-less-considerable predecessor saw Mongrel’s Cross step deeper into territory that’s entirely their own, here with Arcana, Scrying and Revelation do the bolstered quartet solidify that rarefied ground. Not for them the over-generalization of “Australia = war metal” nor the simplistic connotations associated with such; still peaking at the height of their compositional powers, Mongrel’s Cross remain a great extreme METAL entity. All the drama and danger, legendry and lawlessness, power and poison, and essential OTT abandon of this artform otherwise known as heavy metal – everything that Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court so effortlessly played out with a palpably physical poetry – here on Arcana do they render in more manic and narrative form, no doubt informed by Proscriptor’s pioneering work with the singular Absu. In fact, it’s a match so perfect (and poignant), it’s a small wonder it never happened sooner… Regardless, each of these seven screeds artfully canvasses a wide territory of heavy metal magick – the playing deft and nuanced, the songwriting itself direct yet richly detailed – and once again does the clean ‘n’ gleaming production fit like a gauntlet lined with velvet. In a word, Arcana is EPIC, in every sense.

Suitably adorned with majestic cover artwork courtesy of the masterful Kris Verwimp, hereby do Mongrel’s Cross enter the halls of confirmed greatness with Arcana, Scrying and Revelation!

Release date, preorder info, and first track to be announced shortly.

For more info, consult the links below.

Friday, July 17, 2020


Agonia Records today confirms the signing of the new, Texas-based “mythological occult metal” act Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû. The debut/self-titled album’s release date is to be announced in the latter portion of 2020.

When drummer/vocalist Proscriptor (Russ R. Givens) dissolved Absu on January 27th 2020, his main intention was to splinter the 30-year old faction into a renewed songwriting concord. Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû is the obvious by-product of that chemical breakdown and securing the ranks is continuing bassist/vocalist Ezezu and new guitar virtuoso Vaggreaz.

Proscriptor says of the resurgence: “I want people to know that I disbanded Absu to form Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû with underpinning intention, despite the inclusion of my name, as an armorial bearing to pay tribute to the former sanctuary. I do not consider myself the band’s leader, but more of an administrator. I may be an oppressive commissioner, but Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû is an equal, collective unit.”

Proscriptor continues regarding the album’s lyrical approach: “This album is written for those who are curious and unwearied in their quest of arcane knowledge. I have (with vast exertion and detriment of time and space) collected knowledge deemed, in regard to my subject theories of ‘mythological occult metal:’ from Thelemic Magick and The Zos Vel Thanatos Formula to Fractal Ontology and (obviously) Near East Mythology.”

The album is being chronicled at studios around the world with final mixing being handled in Dallas, Texas by J.T. Longoria and mastering by Karl Daniel Lidén in Sweden. The album also features guest appearances from Vorskaath (Zemial), Ross Friedman (Ross The Boss), Jeff Becerra (Possessed), Rune Eriksen (Aura Noir/Vltimas), Alex Colin-Tocquaine (Agressor) and The Dark (Agatus). To assemble the album’s packaging with ten separate portrait illustrations, the band has re-commissioned the expertise of renowned Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak.

Final track listing for “Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû” is:

I. Amenta: Accelerando: Azyn including Hierophantasmal Expounder
II. Esoterically Excoriating The Exoteric
III. Quasaric Pestilence
IV. Mirroracles
V. In-Betweeness Gateway Commuters
VI. Jupiter In Capricornus
VII. Dedicated To Thoth, But Azathoth Wasn’t Listening (A Necroloquy)
VIII. Caliginous Whorl
IX. The Coagulating Respite
X. Prana: Therion: Akasha
XI. Tantrums Of Azag-Kkû
XII. Every Watchtower Within Is The Axis Of A Watchtower Without including Totemic Thresholds


Proscriptor McGovern – Drums/Percussion, Lyricism, Maestro Echoplex, Papago Flute, (Analogue & Digital) Synthesizers & Voices (1st Person Protagonist)

Vaggreaz – Electric Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitar (2nd Person Inquisitor)

Ezezû – Electric Bass Guitar, Implements & Voices (3rd Person Omniscient)

Photo credit: Scott Kincade


Agonia Records: