Crossover Thrash

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Crossover thrash, often abbreviated to crossover, is a form of thrash metal that contains more hardcore punk elements than standard thrash. It is sometimes referred to as punk metal, though this is generally incorrect due to the existence of other music genres that combine forms of punk rock and heavy metal, such as grunge, crust punk, sludge, grindcore and more recently metalcore and its subgenres.

While thrash metal is heavily influenced by hardcore punk, the overall sound of crossover thrash is more punk-influenced yet more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore. The term was coined by the band D.R.I. with their album Crossover, released in 1987.

The term 'crossover' is based on the metaphor of crossing over from one genre into the other, thus capturing artists the operate within the transition zone between thrash metal and hardcore punk. With the metaphor comes the conception of directionality, such that the genre is applied to hardcore and crust punk artists who have crossed over into thrash metal territory, such as D.R.I., Discharge, The Exploited, The Accüsed, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies (who eventually ventured into alternative metal), and thrash metal artists who crossed over into hardcore punk territory, such as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D.

A number of death metal bands (especially those of the first wave of Swedish death metal) draw on hardcore punk, mainly because their members listen to crossover thrash - these bands are included under the death metal subgenre here at the MMA.

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LAWNMOWER DETH Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth Album Cover Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth
LAWNMOWER DETH
4.82 | 4 ratings
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S.O.D. Speak English or Die Album Cover Speak English or Die
S.O.D.
4.57 | 10 ratings
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D.R.I. Full Speed Ahead Album Cover Full Speed Ahead
D.R.I.
4.89 | 3 ratings
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D.R.I. Crossover Album Cover Crossover
D.R.I.
4.45 | 8 ratings
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D.R.I. Four of a Kind Album Cover Four of a Kind
D.R.I.
4.38 | 6 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Lights... Camera... Revolution! Album Cover Lights... Camera... Revolution!
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4.21 | 14 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Still Cyco After All These Years Album Cover Still Cyco After All These Years
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4.24 | 6 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES World Gone Mad Album Cover World Gone Mad
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4.23 | 4 ratings
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4.16 | 6 ratings
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CARNIVORE Carnivore Album Cover Carnivore
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4.15 | 5 ratings
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crossover thrash Music Reviews

LETHAL AGGRESSION Ad Nauseum

Album · 2009 · Crossover Thrash
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UMUR
"Ad Nauseum" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based crossover act Lethal Aggression. The album was released through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions in January 2009. Lethal Aggression formed as far back as 1985 and released their debut full-length studio album "Life Is Hard-But That's No Excuse" in 1989. They disbanded in 1991, but reunited again in 2001.

The music on "Ad Nauseum" is crossover thrash metal/hardcore in the harder edged end of the spectrum. There are tracks and sections on the album, which remind me slightly of early Suicidal Tendencies, but other than those moments, "Ad Nauseum" is a very raw and aggressive release, featuring a pretty dark and pissed off atmosphere, so these guys have not taken the "beer and party" route, generally opting for a more serious social/political agenda. That doesn´t hinder the less serious lyrical topic to pop up now and again, but it´s not the main focus on this album.

The band is very well playing and occasionally play some very fast thrashy riffing and rhythms although there´s always a hardcore edge to the proceedings. Aggression is in the high seat, which is helped further along by the vocals on the album, which are really raw and delivered with fierce conviction. The material on the 13 track, 38:04 minutes are generally well written and relatively varied for the genre, and actually quite a bit more sophisticated than what is usual for crossover releases. You´ll find plenty of tempo changes and even guitar solos on the album. As a bonus the band have added a hidden track on the album featuring a full live set recorded in 2003 at CBGB's. The sound quality is actually pretty decent, and fully showcase what a powerful sounding act Lethal Aggression also are in a live setting.

"Life Is Hard-But That's No Excuse" was quite an enjoyable crossover album when it was released, and Lethal Aggression definitely hasn´t lost any of their punch or passion for playing music in the years between their debut and sophomore album, because "Ad Nauseum" is to my ears an even better release than the debut was, and certainly a step up in quality both when it comes to the musicianship, the songwriting, and the sound production. The latter is dark, heavy, and very powerful sounding. It may not be a full 4 star (80%) rating but a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) isn´t the worst rating either.

SNAPCASE Snapcase

Demo · 1991 · Crossover Thrash
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Unitron
Typically, demos are rarely seen as including some of a band's best material. This isn't always because of the band finding their sound and just starting out though, many times it is the terrible production on many demos that keep them from being very enjoyable. Snapcase's self-titled demo from 1991 is an exception, as this houses some of the band's best stuff.

Before switching to their own unique take on hardcore in the late 90's and early 2000's, the band was a lot more thrash-based. Perhaps nothing displays that better than this demo, as this is an onslaught of punishing beat-you-to-the-floor crossover thrash. "Die Laughing" is the best song on here, with a machine gun barrage of double bass that drum into your skull. The guitar riffs shred and proceed to punch you in the gut, and Chris Galas's vocal spitfire has all the attitude and strained screams of classic hardcore/crossover fashion.

The bass work gets its glory in "Undertow", which is given a menacing tone with the production that blends perfectly with the rusty distortion of some of the riffs. The production is raw and crushing, but you can hear every instrument and vocal line incredibly well. It sounds like a well produced studio album, and that's impressive, especially for a first demo.

If you're looking for some crushing underground crossover thrash to get you through the daily grind, give a listen to this fantastic demo. A great start to one of the most underrated bands in hardcore. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

BODY COUNT Body Count

Album · 1992 · Crossover Thrash
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UMUR
"Body Count" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US, Los Angeles, California based hardcore/heavy metal act Body Count. The album was released through Sire Records (a subsidary to Warner Bros. Records in March 1992. Body Count was founded in 1990 by lead guitarist Ernie C. and lead vocalist Ice-T along with three old friends (Mooseman on bass, D-Roc on rhythm guitar, and Beatmaster "V" on drums). Ice-T was a very prolific name in rap music circles in those days, but he also had a love for rock and heavy metal music, and wanted to expand his means of expression and found a songwriting partner in Ernie C., who could help him do that.

The album was both a commercial and artistic success, but it was also a very controversial release as the song "Cop Killer" was deemed as a call to kill cops. Despite the heavy criticism from authorities, the label initially defended the band´s right to include the track on the album, but Body Count eventually opted to remove the track (and the short intro track "Out in the Parking Lot") from the album, and replace it with "Freedom of Speech", which is a song from Ice-T's 1989 solo album "The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say". The track was re-edited and remixed for the occasion.

Despite Ice-T's background as a rapper, the music on "Body Count" isn´t rap metal, although there are vocal parts featured on the album, which resemble rap type vocals. Ice-T predominantly sings in a more rock/hardcore type raw/shouting vocal style. The instrumental part of the music features elements from both thrash, heavy metal, punk, hardcore, rock´n´roll, and blues. Ernie C. is obviously a very skilled guitarist, and he plays quite a few impressive solos on the album, but the rest of the band are well playing too. The rhythm section is a bit unconventional sounding for heavy metal music, and I´d be surprised if Mooseman and Beatmaster "V" had ever played metal music before recording this album. But despite (or maybe because) of the unconventional rhythmic playing on the album, that part of Body Count´s sound is actually pretty original.

"Body Count" is an album with a good flow, although there is good variation between tracks too. There´s not a dull moment or anything sub par on the album, and it´s through and through a quality release, seen from a compositional point of view. Some tracks can be a bit formulaic and repetitive, but the band always successfully incorporate bridges, a guitar solo, a drum solo, or some other detail to make sure the tracks are entertaining throughout. The lyrics deserve a mention too, as they are quite entertaining, dealing with race conflicts, sex, violence, drug abuse, police brutality, and political issues. Some are delivered with fierce conviction, and some are delivered with a more warm humourous gleam in the eye, but you are never in doubt about the passion behind the delivery. I can mention quite a few highlights from the album, like "KKK Bitch", "Cop Killer", "Body Count", "The Winner Loses" (which always reminds me of Jimi Hendrix), and "There Goes the Neighborhood", but again there´s not a single track here that´s not equal in quality to those mentioned.

The album features a pretty well sounding production too, and all in all this is a great quality debut album by Body Count. The eclectic nature of the tracks is one of the album´s greatest strengths, but the high compositional quality (instantly catchy and memorable tracks), and the skills of the musicians involved, are also assets that combined make this a great listening experience. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT American Paranoia

Album · 1986 · Crossover Thrash
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UMUR
"American Paranoia" is the debut full-length studio album by US, San Francisco, Bay Area formed hardcore/crossover thrash metal act Attitude Adjustment. The album was released through Pusmort Records in 1986. Attitude Adjustment was formed in early 1985 and after playing local shows along side other Bay Area acts like Death Angel, Vio-Lence and Forbidden and thereby gaining valuable experience and also popularity among local crowds, the band entered Peter Miller Studios to record the "Dead Serious" demo, which eventually got them signed to Pusmort Records. The original version of "American Paranoia" features 16 tracks but some later reissues feature the tracks from the "Dead Serious (1985" demo as bonus tracks.

The music on "American Paranoia" continues the fast, aggressive, and raw hardcore that the band also played on the the "Dead Serious (1985" demo. In fact most of the tracks from the demo are included here in re-recorded versions. The attitude is savage with aggressive shouting vocals, fast drumming and buzzing punked guitar riffs, and while there are mid-paced heavier sections on the album, the pace is mostly really fast and the delivery aggressive and "in your face". The material are pretty standard for the genre and aren´t the most memorable out there, but there are some pretty killer tracks on the album that stand out a bit more than others.

The sound production is unfortunately a bit weak, featuring a very thin and powerless guitar sound, and it´s a bit of a shame, because if you´re familiar with the "Dead Serious (1985)" demo, that release featuring a very raw and lo-fi live sounding production that actually suited the material much better than this "professional" studio production does. "American Paranoia" is widely considered a seminal US hardcore/crossover album from the 80s, but personally I think it´s a pretty standard release for the genre and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted. Had the sound production suited the music better I might have had a different impression of the album, but as it is, I can´t rate it higher.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT Dead Serious

Demo · 1985 · Crossover Thrash
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UMUR
"Dead Serious" is a demo release by US, San Francisco, Bay Area formed hardcore/crossover thrash metal act Attitude Adjustment. Attitude Adjustment was formed in early 1985 and after playing local shows along side other Bay Area acts like Death Angel, Vio-Lence and Forbidden and thereby gaining valuable experience and also popularity among local crowds, the band entered Peter Miller Studios to record the "Dead Serious" demo. The demo was released on one-sided cassette tape. Some reissue versions of Attitude Adjustment´s debut full-length studio album "American Paranoia (1986)" feature the tracks from the "Dead Serious (1985" demo as bonus tracks.

The music on the demo is raw, fast, and aggressive hardcore, delivered by a convincing and passionate band. The 10 tracks on the 14:55 minutes long demo are for the most part under 2 minutes long, and some are shorter than 1 minute long, so it´s safe to say that this is a simple "in your face" type of hardcore release. It´s the aggression and passion behind the delivery that´s the real assets here though, because not all tracks are equally memorable and it´s obvious that these guys have spend more time thinking about getting out playing live, and less time on the songwriting. There are a couple of gems like "Grey World" and "Dead Serious" on the demo though.

The sound production is raw, filthy, and lo-fi sounding, and it more or less sounds like the demo was recorded live in the studio. It´s not an issue though and you are mostly able to make out what´s being played and sung. In fact the raw sound quality suits the equally raw sounding music well, and overall provides the demo with a savage charm. "Dead Serious" is not exactly a revelation of aggressive hardcore and many artists had done something similar at this point in time. Some better, and some worse. It´s enjoyable for what it is, but not what I would call a mandatory listen for fans of aggressive 80s US hardcore. A 3 star (60%) rating is deserved.

crossover thrash movie reviews

S.O.D. 20 Years of Dysfunction

Movie · 2005 · Crossover Thrash
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Vim Fuego
'20 Years Of Dysfunction' celebrated the anniversary of the release of the venomous `Speak English Or Die'. Recorded in three days, this relatively short album created huge waves in both the metal and hardcore scenes at the time. Sgt. D stomped into town, annoyed everyone and promptly left again. What started as Scott Ian's hardcore/metal crossover brainchild became Billy Milano's lovechild. S.O.D.'s vocalist has become its biggest fan, and pieced together its recorded history like a fan would.

Like Metallica's seminal `Cliff `Em All' video, the live footage here is mostly bootlegged, although generally of a better quality than the Cliff Burton memorial due to technological improvements.

This is an incredible compilation. For sheer power and head banging, fist pumping enjoyment, there is no better way to start any show than with "March Of The S.O.D/Sgt D & The S.O.D." Scott Ian stomps about the stage like a short, bald Godzilla, destroying buildings and eardrums with his flaming six-string. His polar opposite Dan Lilker is anchored to the stage, skinny and hirsute, head in a THC cloud, sub-sonic bass strung impossibly low. Charlie Benante sits at his drumkit, akin to a manic alchemist, turning gold leaden, amazing all with the dark arts of his craft. Enter Billy Milano. Larger than life in both persona and build, Milano bellows like a wild rhino, and like a rhino looks both comic and dangerous at once.

The ballads are a definite highlight. The original "Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" provides the template for the rest of the ballads: steal a riff from a dead artist, play it twice and shout "you're dead!" Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Small, Frank Sinatra, INXS and Jim Morrison all get the treatment. Offensive? Of course. Hilarious? You bet!

Another prime moment of comedy was Milano encouraging a stage diver to jump, so he does- up and down on the spot...

The package includes extensive extras. Pick of the bunch is an interview with producer Alex Perialas, he of "What's That Noise?" infamy. There's an interview by Metal Maniacs reporter Liz with Billy, which covers all things S.O.D. Surprisingly, Billy also included a 9/11 tribute. All New Yorkers were affected by the 2001 terrorist attack, and he witnessed the World Trade Center towers collapse. For someone so often derided for being an insensitive, politically incorrect oaf, Milano's tribute is both thoughtful and poignant.

The largest part of the extra features is the raw material from which the main feature is cut. There are five mini-concerts from around the world, captured during the `Bigger That The Devil' tour, but featuring only `Speak English Or Die' songs.

Included is the audio CD of the infamous `Pussywhipped', bootlegged in 1985 during one of S.O.D.'s initial seven shows. The quality is dodgy, as you'd expect, but it's been cleaned up a little, and the vitality and energy of the original performance remains intact.

The 21-year-old Billy Milano is like a kid whose dreams have all come true at once. Here he is, a singer with limited ability, little different to the assembled audience, backed by three of the world's top thrash musicians. He gives his performance absolutely everything, and it's quite possible to picture the veins bulging, the sweat flying, the fists and eyes clenched as he shouts his way through "Milano Mosh", "Milk", "United Forces", or any of the other tracks. His performance as a screaming harridan on "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues" is hilarious.

The great thing about the ratty production quality is that all three instruments come through loud and clear. There was nothing technical to tackle, so all the emphasis was on speed and power. Charlie Benante kicks “Speak English Or Die” along faster than the studio version, as he does with a number of tracks, and you get the feeling he could play faster still. Dan Lilker’s bass is so distorted it almost sounds like a guitar, a sound as thick as a prehistoric mammoth-swallowing tar pit. Scott Ian thrashes his guitar like a madman, but never misses a note, sharp and vicious throughout.

As in all S.O.D. performances, there are some priceless moments of spontaneity: Charlie was supposed to play the lead on "United Forces", but it was a little difficult from behind the drum kit; Scott broke his guitar on "Kill Yourself", which forced Dan and Charlie to improvise while he fixed it; and Billy's idiotic introductions to pretty much every song. “Diamonds And Rust” appears three times throughout the show, while “The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix” receives three consecutive airings.

There are a few non-studio album rarities which pop up here, but were also included on the platinum edition reissue of ‘Speak English Or Die’. “Momo” and “Vitality (Milk Part Two)”, originally by Crab Society, both appeared on the 1992 ‘Live At Budokan’ album, while the cover of Inferno’s “Ram It Up Your Cunt” appeared on the Megaforce ‘Deeper Into The Vault’ compilation. Last track “Not” is exclusive to ‘Pussywhipped’, not that it’s much of a hidden treasure.

The best thing about the inclusion of `Pussywhipped' is that it's a small but important slice of metal history, which is far better presented in this format than on some twelfth generation cassette tape, and the band might finally make something from it.

This is an extensive collection of S.O.D. memorabilia, presented raw and unpolished, just how the band was. The volatility of the relationships between the band members may be such that there might never be any more output from S.O.D. ever again, but the snarling, cigar chomping skull Sgt. D will be remembered forever.

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