A lethal dose of pure, organic, home-grown American Hardcore
When people think of names such as Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo, an immediate distinction is made by the gross contrast of their previous works. Patton being the mastermind behind alternative metal powerhouse Faith No More and Lombardo being the former heartbeat of thrash staples like Slayer and Grip Inc., the two of them together would seem like a wet dream for punk/metal crossover fans across the world. This was the case for the self-titled debut album from Dead Cross; just upon hearing the star-studded lineup of Patton, Lombardo, Justin Pearson (Retox, The Locust) and Mike Crain (Retox), fans were won over and shows booked even before a single could be released due to the insurmountable hype.
Looking at the album in its entirety, it’s nothing less than a lethal dose of pure, organic, home-grown American hardcore. The song composition offers an incredibly vintage sound taking the best parts of the early hardcore punk scene, mixes them with a modern sense of precision and throws in a healthy dash of aggression to top everything off.
Patton puts on a clinic with his incredible display of vocal prowess throughout the 29-minute bombardment. He covers multiple types of vocal attacks, ranging from high-pitched (almost cartoonish) wails on tracks like “Grave Slave” and “Church of the Motherfuckers,” to the classic yells mixed with spoken word that made this style of music popular on tracks like “Obedience School” — and he doesn’t leave much ground uncovered in between.
Lombardo seems incredibly at home with his work on Dead Cross, as he has the opportunity to finally take part in creating a stand-alone hardcore project from the ground up. His performance unleashes all of his pent up proto-thrash energy without reservation. The blistering fills, double bass assaults and borderline battery of the ride cymbal that define his style of drumming are on full display and do not relent throughout tracks like “Shillelagh” and “Divine Filth.” The manner in which he complements Crain’s crunchy but refined guitar tone without overpowering it only serves to show the level of mastery attained after a 30-plus year career at the forefront of heavy music.
Dead Cross not only lives up to the immense hype they received prior to its release, they exceed it.