Independent band Zeistencroix was formed in Los Angeles on 2011. The group was founded by Orlando Draven (Vocals-Guitar and songwriter). Jack Akopan (Guitars) and Jean Corredor (Bass) completes the line-up. Though Zeistencroix’s music can’t be pigeonholed in a specific genre of rock, “alternative industrial” is probably the best way to describe their sound. Powerful guitar riffs, odd-time-syncopated drums and heavy use of electronic sounds are part of their musical identity.
The band’s name doesn’t have a specific meaning: It emerged as a combination of sounds from various languages with the sole purpose of making the band stand out.
In September 2013, Zeistencroix’s first video—for the single “Stranger“—debuted, with fans streaming the video over 100,000 times in its first month. The full-length album Stranger was released on February 17, 2014, consisting of 12 songs, including “Party Animals,” “Gone,” and “Tears of the Heart.”
Zeistencroix is also included on Music of the Sea’s roster of bands. The company licenses music for film and television around the world, to clients including MTV, Warner Bros., and The Discovery Channel.
‘Stranger’ is an electro- industrial, rock induced album, with wires hooked up to the guitars and synthesizers. The result is an ensemble of hard driving synths, basses, haunting samples, and guitars that take the music into a more organic form, but still retaining their purpose which is to accompany Orlando Draven’s driven vocals.
Obviously we all have our own preferences when it comes to industrial sounds, but this Zeistencroix direction which gives importance to melody at the same time as it keeps on experimenting, satisfies me completely. If you’re familiar with Zeistencroix in any way, you’ll know their best elements: heavy electronic bass-lines, amazing percussive work, incredibly catchy choruses; all these are present in ‘Stranger’ and absolutely brilliantly done.
All the songs are exceptional, they blend industrial ambience with dark almost gothic like vocals. Zeistencroix can growl and kick really hard too, as on the tracks, “Messiah” , “The Lie” and “Walking Dead”, but I really like their melodic tracks which tend towards a darker and heavier Depeche Mode type sound. Songs like “Got The Wave”, “Stay”, “Stranger”, “Tears Of The Heart” and “The Voyage” are easily accessible to a wide audience and hard to resist.
At the end of the day, the layers upon layers of drums, loops, synths, guitars and vocals are awesome. They all flow together extremely well, and I found it difficult to focus exclusively on individual song components because my consciousness kept getting swept away into the swarming mixes.
This is absolutely a great album. It’s also a rather diverse album, with some songs that could be described as aggressive and angry, some futuristic and mechanical, and most that are just downright catchy. ‘Stranger’ musical diversity makes it perfect music for any mood.