Having toured the World over since 1986’s seminal debut album “The Age Of Quarell“, a record introduced Thrash riffs to Hardcore Punk and made Cro-Mags arguably the forefathers of both Crossover Thrash and Metallic Hardcore. A hugely influential album, it gave them a career and brought through the likes of Machine Head, Sepultura, Hatebreed, Shadows Fall and Earth Crisis to name but a few. Fast forward to 2019 and the band is now in two parts, Cro-Mags featuring Harley Flanagan on bass and vocals alongside guitarists Gabby Abularach, Rocky George (SuicidalTendencies, Fishbone) and drummer Garry “G-Man” Sullivan and Cro-Mags JM who have in their ranks original vocalist John Joseph and drummer Mackie Jayson. More about that here. “From The Grave” is the second three track EP from Harley Flanagan’s Cro-Mags in 2019, nearly 20 years after their fifth studio album “Revenge“.
As you might expect given the presence of Phil Campbell of Motorhead and Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons on the opening track “From The Grave”, it’s a burst of pure Crossover adrenaline. Campbell brings lead and slide guitars to a fast paced cut with a simple message and a clenched fist. Something of a nostalgia trip, Flannigan met Campbell on the “Orgasmatron” tour back in the 80s and they’re a great fit. It might not be anything unexpected but it sure as hell rips. “PTSD” is more of a Hardcore Punk track, obviously about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, something that Flannigan has suffered from and this one feels cathartic. A relentless artillery fire of kit work from Sullivan and a slick solo to close make it timeless and while there is no reinventing the wheel, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sombre instrumental “Between Wars” features a guest appearance from Cellist Carlos “Lamont” Cooper, a classically trained musician and former gang member who has been shot multiple times. Flannigan wrote the song for a forthcoming film of the same name that he has a role in alongside Michael Imperioli (Sopranos, Goodfellas) and while you might not have expected this from Cro-Mags, it is a bleak piece of music that showcases their musicanship. There is no going wrong with this,. Cro-Mags still have what it takes [7.5/10]
From The Grave ft. Phil Campbell of Motorhead, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons
Between Wars ft. Carlos “Lamont” Cooper (Instrumental)
“From The Grave” by Cro-Mags is out now via Victory Records