Canadians Crux of Aux have been a band for a decade, and only now do we finally get to see the release of their debut record, Mona; and it is brutal! The band features former members of Cursed, Shallow North Dakota, and Sailboats are White, peddling their own hybrid of Noise, Sludge, Hardcore, and heavy riffing with devastating aplomb.
The record opens with the mosh-inducing ‘Purgatory Cop’ menacingly carrying a crushing riff over four minutes of scorched vocals stalking your every move. The vocals are full of a pain and anger that breathes life into the music as much as it feasts on its corpse. The guitars drag you kicking and screaming into an uncomfortable plain of head-banging, while the drums all but countdown to the tracks ultimate end: it’s destruction but in a beautifully artistic approach. The hardcore/(early)Mastodon-esque pummelling of ‘Sewer Ghost’ show that the band aren’t afraid to throw their hat into a breakneck speed ring, carrying a punk aesthetic to their shredding.
The record is as raw to the bone as it gets: ‘Body of Shale’ captures the band at their brutally diverse best, mixing jarred guitar riffs, pummelling drums, all covered with deathly vocals intertwined with sludge and noise, with even the tiniest hint of psychedelia just to fully throw you off balance. There are elements of grind in ‘Splat Splat’ and ‘Cestoda’, but ultimately, the sludge, Noise, and simply sheer heaviness of Crux of Aux shines through brightest, culminating in a record which is as brutal and unsettling as it is party-like and moshable. Mona is a must for fans of all thing HEAVY.