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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
4.17 | 9 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
3.96 | 16 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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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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crossover thrash Music Reviews

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.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Lights... Camera... Revolution!

Album · 1990 · Crossover Thrash
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"Lights, Camera, Revolution" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, California based crossover/thrash metal act Suicidal Tendencies. The album was released through Epic Records in July 1990. It´s the successor to "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today" from 1988 although the two full-length studio albums are bridged by the 1989 "Controlled by Hatred / Feel like Shit... Deja Vu" EP. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Bob Heathcote has been replaced by Robert Trujillo.

The addition of Trujillo and his considerable playing skills have provided Suicidal Tendencies with another dimension, which they opt to explore on several tracks on the album. Trujillo´s funk influenced slap-bass is especially audible on "Lovely" and on "Send Me Your Money". Overall "Lights, Camera, Revolution" features a much more mature sounding Suicidal Tendencies than heard before. Everything from the songwriting, to the level of the musicianship, to the quality of the sound production have been given a lift since the predecessor. The music style is still at its core crossover thrash metal, but the hardcore influences have decreased, and the band have incorporated more melodic heavy metal elements and more "regular" (non-hardcore punk influenced) thrash metal riffs and rhythms to their sound. Lead vocalist Mike Muir has also increased his vocal style repetoire, and proves how versatile a vocalist he actually is.

"Lights, Camera, Revolution" is an album loaded with quality material. Highlights include "You Can't Bring Me Down", "Lost Again" (the main riff is such a tasty and heavy thrash metal riff), and "Send Me Your Money", but tracks like "Get Whacked" and "Disco's Out, Murder's In" also score high in my book. There´s actually not a single sub par track on the album, which also features a well constructed tracklist ensuring a good album flow.

As mentioned the musicianship is on a high level on all posts. I´ve already discussed the skills and performances by Trujillo and Muir, but guitarists Mike Clark and Rocky George need a mention too. The former for his strong rhythm guitar playing and the latter for his many incredibly well played and melodic guitar solos. George has often been celebrated for the great guitarist he is, but I´ll still give him one more deserved praise here. Drummer R.J. Herrera is probably the most regular musician on board, but he gets the job done well too.

To my ears "Lights, Camera, Revolution" is the peak of Suicidal Tendencies career, although they had/have released great albums both before and since. It´s their masterpiece and through and through a high quality release. It´s a combination of a band with a unique sound, who are technically skilled, and who can write music and lyrics which leave a lasting impression on the listener. If I was to name some classic thrash metal albums from the 80s/early 90s to a thrash metal newbie as mandatory listening, this would definitely be one of them. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

LAWNMOWER DETH Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth

Album · 1990 · Crossover Thrash
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"Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth" is the debut full-length studio album by UK crossover thrash metal act Lawnmower Deth. The album was released through Earache Records in September 1990. Lawnmower Deth formed in 1987 as a project for drummer Mr. Flymo (then drummer for Scrawm). On this album he is assisted by Mightymow Destructimow (bass), Concorde Face Ripper (guitars), Schizo Rotary Sprintmaster (guitars), and Qualcast Mutilator (lead vocals).

Stylistically the material is crossover thrash metal with silly/humourous lyrics which song titles like "Can I Cultivate Your Groinal Garden", "Flying Killer Cobs From the Planet Bob", and "Got No Legs? Don't Come Crawling to Me" are a testament to. Sometimes the band touch grindcore territory with some blast beats and fast riffs, but the music is predominantly hardcore punk mixed with thrash metal riffs and a vast amount of odd and adventurous musical ideas (which includes a ska section and a robotic vocoder section). Qualcast Mutilator has a raw voice and an aggressive delivery. His voice is similar to the voice (although with a British accent) of the late Oderus Urungus from Gwar (real name Dave Brockie) and there are other features (like the vulgar humour) which are shared by the two acts, but Lawnmower Deth are ultimately quite original and have a sound of their own.

Having a unique sound is of course always a plus, but Lawnmower Deth also have another advantage...they can play. They are very skilled musicians delivering their music with great power and precision. Tempo changes and effectful stylistic changes between and within tracks are performed with ease, so while "Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth" may at first come off as a silly humour crossover thrash metal release, it´s a bit more sophisticated than what initial listens reveal...and yeah I know songtitles like the ones mentioned above and others like "Sumo Rabbit and His Inescapeable Trap of Doom" and "Spook Perv Happenings in the Snooker Hall" are in almost direct violation of the rules of sophistication, but this really is both sharp and clever (and yeah...very silly too).

"Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth" features a powerful and detailed sound production, which suits the material well. Not too raw but not too polished either. Upon conclusion it´s a high quality crossover thrash metal album, which is actually really hard to label correctly because of the many different musical influences floating around the album. Whatever it is, it´s a very entertaining release throughout and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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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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