Dead Cross: Dead Cross
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Dead Cross: Dead Cross

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On Dead Cross we’re treated to a searing piece of demonic hardcore that is vicious and plague-level catchy. Mike Patton’s vocal gymnastics play a big part in lifting the record out of any generic trappings, and as usual his harmonic range and layered vocal attack take the songs to some unexpected places. To dwell on that too much would be unbalanced when the musicianship and songwriting is this killer. As expected Dave Lombardo’s punishing rhythms are everywhere – they’re unrelenting, constantly vying for your attention with their energy and inventiveness. Not to be forgotten, Mike Crain and Justin Pearson are blistering, but totally in control – just as you’d expect from guys of their pedigree.

The bare-bones aesthetic of the cover art is a great summation of the dark humour at play here with titles like Seizure and Desist and Grave Slave; lyrics imploring you to “blow out the candles on the urinal cake” and a cover of the Bauhaus’ goth-rock flagship, Bela Lugosi’s Dead – reducing it to two-minutes, giving the song the attitude and punch it never knew it needed.

When everything is over in less than half an hour, you’ll want to do it again. There’s nothing out of place on this gut-punching record.