Label: Ipecac Recordings
At the end of last June, the Rolling Stone magazine shared a post / tribute to the 100 best / most important albums in Heavy Metal, entitled ‘The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time’. Curiously, this post attracted the interest of many, especially of the wider metal audience, the press and bands, revealing very simply that the opinion those ‘from the outside’ hold is important for our microcosm, thus all these non – conformisms should better be left aside; They no longer convince anyone. The opinion of a magazine that has it all, leaves me intensely indifferent since the john of all trades master of none finds a perfect fit in matching style and varied material magazines. The magazine didn’t get strongly attached to the opinion of its writers; however, wisely thinking – mainly commercially – it invited famous musicians to choose their own dozen of the best / most important albums of Heavy Metal. Amidst the lot, Bill Ward presented a wildly surprising list that took us by surprise (not that we knew his preferences) since we naturally awaited for more ‘classic’ choices. In his top 10, he ranked as 10th album a release that hasn’t reached the market yet, however evergreen Ward had access to it and praised it with sleek comments even though the crowd has no idea about the tracks. We are talking of course about Dead Cross’ debut album. Dead Cross is a hardcore supergroup that’s compiled by four magnificent musicians: Dave Lombardo (ex – Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer) and Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk). Clearly an extravagant selection, but it loudly stated the excitement this album caused to a living legend like Ward. I don’t think this excitement is justified, despite the impressive performance of his colleague Lombardo, a performance that sounds extraterrestrial. Unbelievable fills, constant blasts, scattered melodic toms, merciless assault from his drums with enough twists and turns and a totally modern sound. Patton is horrifying, in a good way. I think that suffices to describe the totally paranoid way he handles his voice in each song. With alternations of screams, different ways of approaching the lyrics or deforming his voice by structuring a labyrinthical narrative. The chaotic sound rests on the cardboard with confidence but doesn’t stay there. Lots of pre-punk, thrash and more 90’s experimental elements are borrowed with the guitars being sharp and noisy. If a relative panic prevailed upon the audience who ran to book tickets when Dead Cross concerts were announced before they released a single, it’s indicative of the panic that’ll spread as a plague the next day of their homonymous album release. “Seizure and Desist” (is it just me or do you hear some S.O.A.D. in the chorus as well?), “Obedience School”, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and “Church of the Motherfuckers” stand out.
(Three of the tracks have already been released via the band’s official Bandcamp page and YouTube channel and have strewn enthusiasm among enthusiastic fans. The rest of you, have some patience till August 4th).