STYGIAN CROWN Feat. Ex-MORGION Member Joins CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Los Angeles doom metallers STYGIAN CROWN. The label will release the band’s self-titled debut in May 2020.

STYGIAN CROWN was formed in 2018 by former MORGION and current GRAVEHILL drummer Rhett Davis, who tapped his GRAVEHILL bandmates Nelson Miranda (guitar) and Jason Thomas (bass) to help launch the band. MORBID ECLIPSE guitarist Andy Hicks was the next to join, and with the help of longtime friend Bob Kassing, vocalist Melissa Pinion was discovered after Kassing (who has since sadly passed away) showed Davis a YouTube video of her singing a cover of IRON MAIDEN’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name”.

Jason, Nelson and I have been doing GRAVEHILL for quite a while,” notes Davis. “The three of us had always wanted to do a band in this vein so we started writing music in between commitments for GRAVEHILL. The three of us are fans of Andy’s band, MORBID ECLIPSE, and invited him to sit in with us. His chemistry with Nelson — that Adrian Smith/Dave Murray type of chemistry — you can’t fabricate that. Personally, I admire guitarists who can mesh like that. Melissa also has quite a bit of music to contribute — more than we can keep up with.”

To date, STYGIAN CROWN has only the 2018 “Through Divine Rite” demo to their credit. The demo was initially tracked before Pinion joined the band, but once she laid down her vocals and the mixing and mastering process was complete, the three-song offering quickly started making the rounds in the doom community. It wasn’t too long before STYGIAN CROWN fell into the lap of a familiar face.

“We were initially contacted by Skol Records, but while discussing with [label owner] Bart Gabriel, he handed us over to Tom Phillips of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT to instead work with Cruz Del Sur. It was surreal to find ourselves working with Cruz Del Sur, as an old friend of mine Aesop Dekker (ex-AGALLOCH) recommended the label to me months previously. Just them, nobody else.”

STYGIAN CROWN is currently hard at work on their debut self-titled album. Drums will be tracked at Trench Studios (EXHUMED, HIRAX) with John Haddad. Guitars, bass and vocals will be tracked at Miranda’s home studio, and mixing and mastering will be handled by Mark Kelson of THE ETERNAL’s Kelsonic Studios in Australia.

As for what fans can expect, try this combination on for size:

“It’s a concoction we call ‘CANDLETHROWER,’” enthuses Davis. “We wanted to expand on the approach of bands like CANDLEMASS and BOLT THROWER — our new material combines both. Add Melissa’s vocals, some synth and it’s epic all the way!”

PALE DIVINE Brings The Doom To CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Pennsylvania doom mainstays PALE DIVINE.

Founded in 1995, PALE DIVINE has made a name for itself with its time-honored and distinctive take on classic doom metal. Albums such as 2004’s “Eternity Revealed” and 2007’s “Cemetery Earth” cemented the band’s reputation as one of the best pure torchbearers of BLACK SABBATH and SAINT VITUS-styled doom, while their most recent 2018 self-titled album was hailed by Last Rites as “true-blue doom for the truly doomed.”

PALE DIVINE — who comprise of vocalist/guitarist Greg Diener, guitarist Dana Ortt, bassist Ron McGinnis and drummer Darin McCloskey — is currently hunkered down in the studio with producer Richard Whittaker recording their sixth studio album, “Consequence Of Time”, which will see the light of day in May 2020. The album’s artwork will be handled by Brian Tutlo, the man responsible for the eye-catching “Thunder Perfect Mind” and “Eternity Revealed” covers.


“It’s definitely a natural progression but maybe not in the way people might expect, which is one of the reasons we’re excited,” says McCloskey. “We have a new lineup now which includes Dana, whom Greg and I played with in BEELZEFUZZ. Dana has brought a new element to the band that blends perfectly with PALE DIVINE that has helped us take things to the next level.”  

PALE DIVINE came to join Cruz Del Sur Music through a familiar face: WHILE HEAVEN WEPT leader Tom Phillips. The band originally crossed paths with Cruz Del Sur label head Enrico Leccese at the 2018 Hammer Of Doom festival in Germany, but it was Phillips who initiated the proper discussions. After that, according to McCloskey, it was a no-brainer to sign with Cruz Del Sur.

“We had heard great things about Cruz Del Sur from our friends in ARGUS and APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE so we were already familiar and very interested. We discussed things with Enrico and he offered us a great deal. Moving forward, we’re really excited to be part of the Cruz Del Sur Music roster. It feels like we’re part of a family now. This is where we belong.”

PALE DIVINE will be celebrating its 25th year as a band in 2020. McCloskey says the highlights have been numerous, starting with the bands they’ve played with and the people they’ve met over the years, as well as their first trip to Germany in 2005 playing alongside PLACE OF SKULLS and RISING DUST. “In many ways, it always sort of feels like we’re just starting out,” he says. “Every new experience, every new song and new album pretty much reinforces that. We still have a lot of music in us and a lot more to accomplish. It hardly seems like it’s been 25 years, in all honestly. Going overseas for the first time and playing for people who were fans of our music was pretty mind-blowing for us at the time…still is, really. Even our recent trip to Würzburg last year for Hammer Of Doom was an awesome experience as well. Certainly, the chemistry we have in our current lineup has been a big highlight and, of course, signing with Cruz Del Sur!”

Irish Doomsters DEATH THE LEVELLER Sign With Cruz Del Sur Music


Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Dublin, Ireland doom metallers Death The Leveller. The label will release the band’s first proper full-length album, “II”, in March 2020.
Originally formed in 2016 out of the ashes of long-running Irish metal ensemble MAEL MÓRDHA, DEATH THE LEVELLER released their debut “I” EP in 2017 to critical acclaim and positive fan reaction. The band’s sound — a melancholic, but strikingly epic take on doom metal — is the result of its four members taking their combined experience and working to create something entirely distinct.
“I think the big takeaway for us was the whole approach to DEATH THE LEVELLER had to be honest, about us, our lives, our losses and our passions,” says drummer Shane Achill. “Sure, we are all influenced by one thing or another, but I can’t say the bands we were in in the past influenced us in any big meaningful way. I know we are certainly influenced by the mistakes we made in the past and how not to recreate those mistakes in DEATH THE LEVELLER.”
DEATH THE LEVELLER (who are rounded out by vocalist Denis Dowling, guitarist Ger Clince and bassist Dave Murphy) fell onto Cruz Del Sur’s radar by way of fellow Irish metallers (and Cruz Del Sur act) Darkest Era. Cruz Del Sur label head Enrico Leccese was instantly a fan of “I” and started up a conversation with the band, with the two parties eventually putting pen to paper in 2019.
“The great thing about Cruz is the quality of bands writing quality music being released by a guy who is a fan of the bands and music he releases,” notes Cahill. “There are not many out there like Enrico at the moment and it was very refreshing for us to find a home for our music that cuts out all the crap that takes away from creating and writing music. Enrico is not looking for the next trend or fashion statement, which is good for us, right? Shortly after that, we demoed three tracks and we finally met at Doom Over Vienna where our relationship was cemented and Enrico got to see us live for the first time. Suddenly it looked like we had a label and that ‘II’ was starting to become a reality.”
The band is currently holed up at Trackmix Recording Studio in Dublin with engineer Michael Richards for the recording of “II”. According to Cahill, the album will comprise of four songs at 42 minutes that are more “introspective” and “reaches more emotional depths than ‘I’.”
“We’re still exploring the human relationship with death and concepts of mortality, but whereas the first release approached the idea of legacy after death, this one goes on a more soul-searching journey to some darker personal places of loss but ultimately also has its uplifting moments,” he says. “Sound-wise, this one has a more laid-back feel in places, giving the general tone of the album more space to breathe and a much more natural sound to come through. On saying that, it also has some of the heaviest sections we’ve done so far. For us, writing each song is a journey, and as we write this, we’re in the studio putting the final pieces of the jigsaw together and the landscape forms in front of us.”
The remainder of 2019 will find DEATH THE LEVELLER putting the finishing touches on “II” while preparing for a run of dates in Europe and Ireland alongside new labelmates, Argus. The band will also be appearing at the bi-annual Redemption Festival in Dublin, as well as Little Devil Doom Days in Holland.
“The main focus for 2020 is to get out there and play to as many people as possible,” wraps Cahill. “These songs mean the world to us. It was a fairly personal and at times, a very emotional journey, but now it’s time to have some fun and bring all of that to the stage and let it rip.”