So many classic bands are missing from the pages of this fine zine! As a reviewer, I aim to expose the best of the respective genres I review independent of the promos I receive.
I could not let TMO sit idly by without having a single review of the prolific CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER. As an early progenitor of Thrash, a union of Hardcore Punk and Metal, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER were massively influential on Thrash, Grindcore, Death Metal, and various other genres of music.
This particular release is their debut. One can tell the age of the members due to sloppy playing which pops up at various points throughout the release. But instead of dragging the release down, I feel that the sloppiness gives it a youthful energy; as if a couple of grubby teenagers who were pissed off at everything and expressed their rage through organized thrashing chaos. As one listens, the attentive listener will notice the useage of primitively slow blast beats, almost a full year before NAPALM DEATH would cement them in Metal with “Scum.” Aside from the lighter distortion and yelling vocals as opposed to growling, this material would not be unacceptable as Grindcore.
Riffs are near-constant, and sawing. The drums tend to overpower things at times, but there is also another quality level on this album which is more balanced (Nuclear Future, for example). Blinding speed Hardcore Punk progressions are taken to an extreme that at the time had been rarely done, save perhaps SIEGE, D.R.I., LARM, or REPULSION. In terms of songs, it’s practically Grindcore, so most of the faster ones sound similar. The more structured and dynamic ones such as “Lowlife,” “State Control,” and the aforementioned “Nuclear Future” offer sections of breaks from the near constant whirlwind of blasts. The more furious numbers such as “Nation Of Hate” and “Little World” bring Thrash and Metal to aggressive heights rarely achieved before or since. Singer Bill Crooks’ tone is a harsh yell, at times spitting out lyrics at such a pace that even he cannot keep up with it vocally. Scathing diatribes of social issues, politics, and frustration at the mundane qualities of everyday life occupy the lyrical yelpings.
This release kick-started a career for CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER that would produce two classic Thrash albums, and one mediocre one before dissolving. Any fans of any aforementioned band, SEPTIC DEATH, NAPALM DEATH, and DISCHARGE would do well to acquire this album.
BUY. OR. DIE.
(Online March 16, 2011)