The Sign of The Southern Cross: …Of Mountains And Moonshine


By Keith Carman

The biggest surprise in regards to mountain boys The Sign Of The Southern Cross (SOTSC) and latest effort …Of Mountains And Moonshine is probably its absolute absence of surprise. Let’s put it this way: if they lack the originality to come up with something other than a Black Sabbath song title for a name after 40 years of other acts doing the same—and with a negative success rate at that—you’re pretty much going to be able to guess what they’re all about. Factor in the obligatory Trouble and Pantera influences that tend to hover around Sabbath clone bands like flies on shit and there you go. A vocalist that pulls disgustingly heavily from post-Fear Beyond Driven albums (we’re talking everything from Anselmo’s throaty grunts to the whispered low end and shrieks) to Vinnie Paul’s rubber-hitting-wood-blocks kick drum sound and Dimebag’s wonky squeals, this is the epitome of a band going into the studio and telling their producer, “Make us sound like Great Southern Trendkill…but throw in some fuzz to give us that Mob Rules tinge.” Still, the songs aren’t particularly horrible. It’s just that any sense of talent or creativity has been buried in an attempt to claim two long-vacated yet untouchable thrones.

(Season of Mist)

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.