Willie Cross

The sparse, crackling desert of Tucson, Arizona raised me and fostered an interest in a broad range of music genres. The first concert I ever attended was Allison Krauss with my parents. My mother is a devout fan of country music, a classic cowgirl born in North Dakota. My dad was dismissive of music, but it was his former passion for the likes of The Band and Neil Young that would bring me to appreciate the roots of the music I listen to now.

I would make the trek to downtown Tucson to see as many shows at The Rock and Skrappy’s as possible. Hardcore shows, metal or indie- it made hardly any difference to me. I had to escape the confinement of my family’s remote residence, and music gave me a great excuse to find a way out.

I wrote a paper sometime later in college about the origins of metal. At the time I had never looked that far into it, but the research I did on metal was eye opening. I was already a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, but it was listening to Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath (1970) so late in the game that threw the floodgates open. I started digging into doom, drone and black metal with a fervor unmatched up to that point in my life.

I am still evidence of the subjectivity of music. Though black metal remains my strongest passion and point of interest, I listen to it in equal parts with everything from hip-hop to electronic to post-rock. As Miles Davis said, “It’s music and I like it.” Though some may disagree with the existence of music criticism, writing reviews with an eye for exposure is an incredibly important component of bringing independent music to the light. I am very excited to be part of the Echoes and Dust family, and have already come across some amazing music through the site.

I am now based in Flagstaff, AZ and also write for a local publication called FlagLive. Though music remains my main interest, I am also fostering a potential career in food writing. I also travel, play in a band called Black Lanterns and enjoy a glass of straight Bulleit Rye Whiskey, no ice.

Party on, Wayne.






Articles by Willie Cross

Code Orange – I Am King

Code Orange’s I Am King feels like being trapped in the jaws of rabid dog. The band is dismissive of any apprehensions the listener may have about heavy music, and simply proceeds to toss them back and forth with their teeth. I Am King is a relentlessly gritty, heavy and affecting piece of music. You only have to hope that you make it out of the experience alive. – By Willie Cross

The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer

On The Old Believer the band don’t offer much light at the end of the tunnel, only the grit to carry on through seemingly endless suffering. That is surely, for The Atlas Moth, a stark achievement. – By Willie Cross

Trap Them – Blissfucker

For a band as consistent as Trap Them, it’s only a matter of keeping up as they repeatedly release album upon album of gloriously hateful music. – By Willie Cross

Misery Index – The Killing Gods

Misery Index push the edges of the metal genre on The Killing Gods and the dividends are more than rewarding. – By Willie Cross

Run with the Hunted – The Sieve and the Sand

The Sieve and the Sand is a masterful example of progressive hardcore that reaches towards the sky, yet digs itself into the filth as well. – By Willie Cross

Tombs – Savage Gold

Tombs appears to have thrown their every ace-in-the-hole into Savage Gold, and the end product is massive and immersive. – By Willie Cross

Moon Gangs – Moon Gangs EP

Will Young successfully communicates what feels like a very immersive world inside his head and outside the universe. By Willie Cross

Semblance – Quotes

Although they let their influences shimmer and shine through, Semblance are not without their own sound. By Willie Cross

Black Anvil – Hail Death

Black Anvil continue the turbulent pace of American black metal with Hail Death, a massive record with more than a lot to offer. – By Willie Cross

Black Monolith – Passenger

An all out assault on the listener’s mind, body and soul. Essentially, it’s the opposite of yoga. – By Willie Cross

The Body / Thou – Released From Love

Released From Love is a momentous, harrowing piece of work. – By Willie Cross

Seahaven – Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only

It is an overwhelmingly beautiful and honest piece of music. By Willie Cross

Inventions – Inventions

Here’s to hoping this wonderful collaboration carries on to another chapter. By Willie Cross

I/O – Saudade

Whether it is the rain drenched streets of Boston or the vibrant geographical origins of the band’s members, everything about I/O’s Saudade works. Very well. By Willie Cross

Echoes – The Pursuit

The Pursuit is an intense record that does not spend any time wasting time, and you shouldn’t put off picking it up. – By Willie Cross

Interview: Hanno of Mantar

With Death By Burning, Mantar released one of this year’s highlights so far in the heavy music genre. Willie Cross had a chat with guitarist/singer Hanno.

Stilla – Ensamhetens Andar

Ensamhetens Andar sets the pace for black metal very early on in 2014. – By Willie Cross

Lake of Blood – Omnipotens Tyrannus

This is American black metal at its best. – By Willie Cross

Mantar – Death By Burning

This album only has one rule: bang your head or die. – By Willie Cross

Echoes of the Past 29: Poison the Well – Tear from the Red

“…the soundtrack of that harrowing time when an angsty yet youthful outlook gives way to true anger and cynicism” – by Willie Cross

The Vintage Caravan – Voyage

Voyage is a fantastic album of throwback hard rock with just the right touch of progression injected into it, and is a more than worthwhile album to give a listen. – By Willie Cross

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