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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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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Lights... Camera... Revolution! Album Cover Lights... Camera... Revolution!
4.39 | 26 ratings
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BODY COUNT Body Count Album Cover Body Count
4.33 | 16 ratings
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CARNIVORE Carnivore Album Cover Carnivore
4.39 | 9 ratings
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CARNIVORE Retaliation Album Cover Retaliation
4.25 | 11 ratings
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D.R.I. Full Speed Ahead Album Cover Full Speed Ahead
4.38 | 4 ratings
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LAWNMOWER DETH Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth Album Cover Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth
4.21 | 8 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Still Cyco After All These Years Album Cover Still Cyco After All These Years
4.11 | 10 ratings
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BODY COUNT Bloodlust Album Cover Bloodlust
4.04 | 8 ratings
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MUNICIPAL WASTE The Fatal Feast (Waste in Space) Album Cover The Fatal Feast (Waste in Space)
4.12 | 4 ratings
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S.O.D. Speak English or Die Album Cover Speak English or Die
3.98 | 17 ratings
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D.R.I. Crossover Album Cover Crossover
3.96 | 13 ratings
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THE EXPLOITED Beat The Bastards Album Cover Beat The Bastards
4.04 | 5 ratings
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crossover thrash Music Reviews

ENFORCED War Remains

Album · 2023 · Crossover Thrash
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"War Remains" is the third full-length studio album by US, Virginia based thrash metal/crossover thrash metal act Enforced. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2023. It´s the successor to "Kill Grid" from 2021 and the lineup who recorded the predecessor is intact on "War Remains".

Stylistically this is another piece of ultra aggressive thrash metal with crossover thrash metal/hardcore leanings and it´s not completely unlike what a contemporary artist like Power Trip put out (before their untimely demise), but the music also features quite a few nods toward artists like Slayer and (late 80s/early 90s) Sepultura. Lead vocalist Knox Colby has a raw voice, and a very aggressive delivery, which are great assets to Enforced´s music, but the instrumental part of the music is also deliered with both great skill and conviction. Enforced are arguably a well playing band.

"War Remains" features a raw, sharp, and brutal sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. Upon conclusion it may not be an album adding much new to the style or showing much development from Enforced since "Kill Grid", but it´s one of those relentlessly aggressive and powerful releases, which have the power to make you head bang and you body move, despite that not being your plan. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

CEREBRAL FIX Disaster of Reality

Album · 2016 · Crossover Thrash
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"Disaster of Reality" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK thrash metal act Cerebral Fix. The album was released through Xtreem Music in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Death Erotica" from 1992, so it´s been 24 years since the release of the predecessor. Cerebral Fix formed in 1986 and released four studio albums in the years between 1988 and 1992, after which they disbanded (in 1993). Cerebral Fix reunited in 2006 but only guitarists Tony Warburton and Gregg Fellows remain from the lineup who recorded "Death Erotica (1992)", but drummer Andy Baker is no stranger to Cerebral Fix either as he played with the band from 1989 to 1990 and recorded two studio albums in those years. New in the lineup are Nigel Joiner (bass, backing vocals), Neil Hadden (lead vocals), and Chris Doss (guitars, backing vocals). Cerebral Fix disbanded again in 2017.

Stylistically the material on "Disaster of Reality" is a bit of a mess...or at least very inconsistent in style and quality. The album opens with "Justify", which is a heavy thrash metal track similar in style to the material on the three doomy thrash metal albums Cerebral Fix released between 1990 and 1992, but then already on the second track of the album "Mosh Injury", the band moves into hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal territory much closer in style to their hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal oriented debut album "Life Sucks... and Then You Die! (1988)". The hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal connection is further strengthened by the inclusion of two cover songs by Discharge and The Exploited.

The quality of the material is a bit up and down. It´s all well performed, and "Disaster of Reality" also features a powerful and well sounding production job, but the inconsistency of the material and the fact that I wouldn´t have guessed it was Cerebral Fix playing if I didn´t know beforehand what I was listening to, aren´t exactly positives when evaluating the album. The lyrics range from serious to silly (yeah both "Mosh Injury" and "Skate Fear" are pretty silly) but that´s not really strange on a hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal release. Upon conclusion "Disaster of Reality" isn´t exactly the comeback album I had hoped for from Cerebral Fix. It´s not that their early 90s doomy thrash metal phase was anything particularly exciting, but at least they had a relatively distinct sound in those days, which they don´t on this release. "Disaster of Reality" is not an all bad release, and there are redeeming features present, which makes it enjoyable enough while it plays, but it´s certainly not an excellent release either, and it´s just as soon forgotten when it ends playing. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.

PRONG Force Fed

Album · 1988 · Crossover Thrash
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"Force Fed" is the debut full-length studio album by US, New York based thrash/groove/crossover metal act Prong. The album was released through Spigot Records in January 1988. It´s not the band´s first label release though as they released the "Primitive Origins" EP in 1987.

"Primitive Origins (1987)" was more or less a hardcore release, but "Force Fed" adds thrash metal traits to the band´s sound, and therefore crossover thrash metal is now a more valid description of Prong´s style. It´s raw, harsh, and aggressive music. While the pace varies between heavy mid-paced sections and faster hardcore/crossover influenced sections, there isn´t much variation between tracks, and it´s not an album where you come out remembering many individual songs. Lead vocalist/guitarist Tommy Victor has a raw/hoarse voice, but his performance here is one-dimensional and it sounds like he did his vocals in one take...warts and all, and as a consequence he sometimes sounds a little tired and out of breath.

The sound production is pretty thin sounding, and especially the guitar tone lacks bottom end heaviness and power. Fans of 80s crossover thrash metal like Cro-Mags, Suicidal Tendencies, and Beöwulf (just to mention a few contemporary artists in the genre), may find something to enjoy here, but personally I don´t hear anything special on this release and "Force Fed" is to my ears as mediocre as they come. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.


Demo · 1985 · Crossover Thrash
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"Life in Grave" is a demo cassette tape release by US, California based crossover thrash thrash metal act Cryptic Slaughter. The demo was independently released in 1985. Cryptic Slaughter formed in 1984 and "Life in Grave" is their first and only demo release before being signed to Metal Blade Records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Convicted (1986)". The original cassette tape demo is probably hard to get these days, but the material from "Life in Grave" are featured as bonus material on the re-issue of "Convicted (1986)".

Stylistically the material on the 5 track, 12:54 minutes long demo is fast-paced and aggressive crossover thrash metal/hardcore. A valid contemporary reference is The Accüsed, but Cryptic Slaughter are generally much faster, more aggressive, and intense in their delivery, and I´m therefore also at times reminded of the savage energy and raw aggression of the early releases by German thrash metal acts like Kreator and Destruction, just in a hardcore oriented version. So buckle up and let Cryptic Slaughter beat you to a bloody pulp. The highly energetic performance and the aggression and pace of the music invites you to mosh around and break things. I´m completely out of breath when "Life in Grave" is over and I feel like I could sleep a week.

The music consists of fast-paced drumming, fast hardcore/primitive thrash riffs, and the caustic snarling vocals of lead vocalist/bassist Bill Crooks in front. The attitude of the whole thing is rotten and beastly. Despite featuring a relatively raw and lo-fi sounding production job, "Life in Grave" is still one fo the more intense and powerful demo releases I´ve yet encountered and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

M.O.D. Devolution

Album · 1994 · Crossover Thrash
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"Devolution" is the 4th full-length studio album by US crossover thrash metal act M.O.D.. The album was released through Music for Nations in June 1994. It´s the successor to "Rhythm of Fear" from 1992 and features two lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarist Tim McMurtrie has been replaced by Tom Klimchuck, and bassist Rob Moschetti has been added to the lineup (lead vocalist Billy Milano handled both vocals and bass on the predecessor), making M.O.D. a four-piece on "Devolution".

Stylistically the material on "Devolution" continue the heavy groove laden crossover/hardcore style of "Rhythm of Fear (1992)". There are faster paced crossover/hardcore tracks on the album too, but the tempo is predominantly mid-paced and the tracks heavy and groove laden. Milano has a raw voice and an aggressive delivery and he is complimented here by new bassist Moschetti, who also sings some vocals on the album. Often in a sort of call and response type manner. Moschetti also has a raw hardcore type voice and delivery.

The material is relatively well written, effectful, and raw, although it´s not the most memorable nor the most standout crossover/hardcore tracks you´ll ever hear. It´s delivered by seasoned professionals though, and the music is packed in a powerful and well sounding production too, so upon conclusion "Devolution" is another decent quality release by M.O.D.. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

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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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