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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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crossover thrash top albums

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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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S.O.D. Speak English or Die Album Cover Speak English or Die
3.98 | 17 ratings
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ENFORCED War Remains Album Cover War Remains
4.12 | 4 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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Album · 2019 · Crossover Thrash
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"At The Walls" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Virginia based thrash metal act Enforced. The album was released through War Records in July 2019. Enforced formed in 2016 and released two 2017 demos before being signed for the release of "At The Walls". While "At The Walls" is considered Enforced debut full-length studio album, it´s actually more a compilation album, as the album consists of remixed versions of the seven tracks from the two 2017 demos, and only two new original compositions. The tracklist opens with the two new tracks, then the three tracks from the second 2017 demo "Retaliation" and closing the album with the four tracks from the "Demo 2017" demo. The tracks are as a result presented in diverse order in terms of the time of recording.

Stylistically the material on "At The Walls" is aggressive, heavy, and punchy thrash metal with crossover influences. The crossover elements (hardcore tinged riffs and rhythms, brutal heavy breakdowns, riot gang backing vocals) are most prominent on the tracks from the "Demo 2017" demo, and less and less prominent on the more recently composed tracks. While the material are generally well composed and effectful, Enforced´s greatest strength is their aggressive and brutal delivery of the music. They are a well playing unit, handling both fast and heavy parts with equal conviction, delivering sharp riffs and screaming solos. The vocals are raw and shouting, and suits the instrumental part of the music well. I hear influences from artists like Slayer, late 80s/early 90s Sepultura, and various crossover/hardcore acts. A contemporary artists like Power Trip is a valid reference too.

While there is a difference in style between the most recent tracks and the earliest demo tracks, "At The Walls" is still a relatively consistent release, and the quality of the material is overall high. "At The Walls" is also well produced and upon conclusion it´s a promising debut album by Enforced. A few more hooks/memorable moments and a little more variation in the way the vocals are performed would have made "At The Walls" an even more interesting release, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

MUNICIPAL WASTE The Art of Partying

Album · 2007 · Crossover Thrash
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"The Art of Partying" is the third full-length studio album by US crossover thrash metal act Municipal Waste. The album was released through Earache Records in June 2007. It´s the successor to "Hazardous Mutation" from 2005.

The material on "The Art of Partying" is a continuation of the thrash/crossover metal style of "Hazardous Mutation (2005)", and if you´re familiar with the predecessor you´ll find very few surprises here. The music is raw, energetic, aggressive, and predominantly fast-paced (although the tracks also feature mid-paced heavy sections). Raw shouting vocals and riot gang backing vocals, sharp thrash/hardcore riffs and rhythms, and the occasional lead/harmony guitar moment. The lyrics are about drinking beer, partying, and fantasy/horror stories. It´s like listening to the audio version of the "Toxix Avenger" (Troma Entertainment movie series). Campy and silly, but also greatly entertaining. Song titles like "Sadistic Magician" and "Septic Detonation" tell the story better than any description can. Or how about "Lunch Hall Food Brawl", "Born to Party", or "Thrashing's My Business... And Business Is Good".

Municipal Waste are a well playing band, and lead vocalist Tony Foresta knows most of the tricks in the thrash/crossover metal vocalist book, and although he ultimately doesn´t have the most distinct sounding voice or unique delivery, he gets the job done...and done well. "The Art of Partying" features a sharp, clear, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well. A little more grit and rawness wouldn´t have hurt, but this is arguably a well sounding production. Campy and silly, and an image and lyrics which are not meant to be taken too serious, "The Art of Partying" is however dead serious when it comes to the quality of the songwriting and the overall product and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

M.O.D. Dictated Aggression

Album · 1996 · Crossover Thrash
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"Dictated Aggression" is the fifth full-length studio album by US crossover thrash metal act M.O.D.. The album was released through Music for Nations in June 1996. It´s the successor to "Devolution" from 1994 and not surprisingly there have been a couple of lineup changes (M.O.D. always had troubles with members leaving). Lead vocalist/guitarist Billy Milano (who also handles bass here) and drummer Dave Chavarri remain from the lineup who recorded the predecessor, while guitarist Joe Young completes the new trio lineup.

Stylistically "Dictated Aggression" pretty much continues the hardcore/crossover thrash metal style of "Devolution (1994)" and there aren´t many surprises on this album if you´re familiar with the predecesser. It´s still relatively simple, heavy, and aggressive hardcore with a groove laden thrashy edge. Milano has a strong voice and a raw, shouting, and commanding delivery, the riffs are simple and catchy, and the drumming is powerful. Not all tracks are equally interesting or memorable beyond their playing time, but the quality of the material is overall decent. "Silence Your Sin" is an album highlight to my ears, as M.O.D. strike a perfect balance between the hardcore- and the groove laden thrash metal influences.

"Dictated Aggression" features a relatively well sounding production job, and upon conclusion it´s a decent quality release by M.O.D.. They´ve become heavier and less silly with every album, but there are still a couple of humor moments on the album, which make it a slightly more diverse listen than what it may initially appear to be. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

NOT-US Think What You Want

Album · 1989 · Crossover Thrash
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"Think What You Want" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Chicago, Illinois based crossover/thrash metal act Not-Us. The album was released through Wild Rags Records in 1989. Not-Us formed in 1984 under the Natas monicker, but after releasing several demos (no less than four) in the period 1984-1988 under that monicker, they changed their name to Not-Us.

The Natas demos ranges in style from harcore punk to blackened proto-death/thrash metal (the 1986 "Internal Damnation" demo is not far from sounding like the early Hellhammer/Bathory releases), but on "Think What You Want", Not-Us have opted to play a fast-paced, politically charged crossover/thrash metal style and now it´s artists like Crumbsuckers and early Cro-Mags who are valid references.

"Think What You Want" features 9 tracks and a total playing time of 18:37 minutes, so needless to say it´s a very short and to-the-point type of album. There´s no messing aound or experimenting. It´s all about aggression, power, and loads of pace. The album features a raw and unpolished sounding production job, which is decent but not great. It suits the rawness of the material well though. Upon conclusion "Think What You Want" is a decent quality crossover/thrash metal release, but you won´t find anything here, you haven´t heard before on other mid- to late-80s crossover/thrash metal releases, and you have heard it better too. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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.

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.

Artists with Crossover Thrash release(s)


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