Review: Crossing Rubicon 'No Less Than Everything'

Learn a new word each day they say, improve your vocabulary by digging deep into a thesaurus and widening your horizons. So today’s word is ‘Rubicon’. Rubicon was a river boundary in ancient times, between Rome and Gaul, and when Caesar crossed it with his army in 49BC it was considered an act of war. Another definition is that it’s a line that when crossed it permits no return and typically results in irrevocable commitment. It’s also a song featured on Journey’s classic 1983 album ‘Frontiers’. Enough of the education lesson, the rubicon that we’re interested in is American Rock outfit Crossing Rubicon.

Some of you might recognize the talents of former All That Remains bassist Jeanne Sagan who has now joined up with Scott Wawrzyniak (aka Scotty Anarchy) in a band that will leave those that like to pigeonhole bands just scratching their heads.

Melodic Rock, Modern Metal, Grunge, Classic Rock and Prog Metal are all sub-genres that these guys could belong to. You might hear echoes of Avenged Sevenfold, Queensryche, Pantera and even The Scorpions in amongst the 12 tracks that make up ‘No Less Than Everything’. For instance, on ‘The Fallen’ vocalist Scott/Scotty has the same tone as Teutonic Rock legend Klaus Meine but then the intro to current single ‘Unhinged’ has a feel of M.Shadows from A7X about it. Don’t tie yourself in knots trying to pin Crossing Rubicon down, it’s all just Rock & Roll really.

‘Unhinged’ features some Johnny Marr style shimmering guitar riffs throughout (thinking ‘How Soon Is Now’), Sagan helps out on the vocals and the male-female dynamics works well, especially when she lets rip with a few choice growls. Also,loving the guitar interplay between Zach Lambert and Jesse Near while the partnership of Sagan and Brandi Hood on drums provides a beefy sound to shake the foundations.

‘The Fallen’ slows things down with a very melodic tempo change, the glorious vocal harmonies wouldn’t be out of place back in the hedonistic days of MTV & Hair Metal. ‘Cut Deep’ is pure Alice In Chains inspired grunge with a nasty groove throughout which will result in involuntary head bobbing. Much more than a pastiche, a great song with yet again killer vocal harmonies. ‘Violet Carson’ is an impressive six minutes of Prog Metal that tips it’s hat to Queensryche, complete with Geoff Tate style spoken sections. See what I mean,  impossible to pigeonhole. ‘Bittersweet Day’ is a stand out track and I feel that Scott’s vocals are better suited to this more melodic style, a more natural singing style that suits him. ‘Do We Not Bleed’ is another recommended track, hints of Judas Priest ‘Electric Eye’ with it’s dual guitar sound.

Wawrzyniak has an almost theatrical style of singing where at times he seems to be singing as two or even three different characters,it’s certainly ambitious to attempt this and he should be applauded for thinking big. Could see him onstage with ‘Rock Of Ages’ as well as a tortured soul in a Lloyd-Webber production. Closing track ‘Return To Atlantis’ serves to enhance this statement with it’s soaring and uplifting vocals, a great finale to the album.

With so many different sounds and styles thrown into the blender, Crossing Rubicon might not appeal to everyone but take a chance and give it a spin, playing safe is dull! ‘No Less Than Everything’ is out now as a digital download through Pavement Entertainment, available at the usual digital sites.

Review By Dave Stott

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One comment

  1. The fact that you think this album is good makes my head hurt. Every song is literally the same. As a guitar player and hearing 6 songs start off with a slide into a generic 80’s riff is pure laziness. the lyrics sound like a 5 year old wrote them. “They gave my position to a fucking kid” c’mon people seriously.
    how much did they beg you to give them a review like this?

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