Cryptic Slaughter

Along with D.R.I., C.O.C. and the contributions of punkers like Discharge and The Exploited, Cryptic Slaughter built up the genre of "thrash" music from haphazard crossover to a science of more terrifying, instantaneous music.

Death Records
Production: Desperate and grainy with a lack of peaking that obliterates rhythm, and decent tone, in an otherwise grainy tape-sounding package.

Review: After generations of human failure in seemingly baffling new versions of the same problems, hardcore and metal musicians unified intelligences to analyze the underlying spiritual breakdown that in dogma provided a submerged abstract foundation to all lies, greed, filth, corruption and murder observed as the hallmark of human progress. Cryptic Slaughter strike forward with an unswerving fist of truth in these thrashy, blasting, rigid and yet open with potential songs.

Breath of dissent pulses forward alongside blasting drums in a cadence of desperate angst borne on the spit-tinged vocal barrage of the infamous Bill Crooks, who generated after an evolution of hardcore the ultimate extension of its verbal style, a hoarse and calloused voice shrieking with the uncertain tones of adolescence a certainty of logic untainted by learned helplessness.


1. M.A.D.
2. Little World
3. Sudden Death
4. Lowlife
5. Rage to Kill
6. Rest in Pain
7. Nuclear Future
8. State Control
9. Hypocrite
10. War to the Knife
11. Nation of Hate
12. Black and White
13. Reich of Torture
14. Convicted
Length: 31:17

Copyright © 1986 Death Records

Orthodox and vigilant, drums monitor rotations of rhythm in thematic conflict with one another and drive the rapid streams of rhythmic information embedded in the strumming hand of guitarist Les Evans, who demonstrates his genius for the formulation of perfect punk riffs: isolated from normalcy yet using elements of its rendering to provide strictly balanced exuberance and justice-adamant rage. Through this vein of genetic hierarchy we can see music at the flux of an emergence of dissident musical theory: the newborn creativity in the deconstruction of tonal rulesets introduced by bands such as Slayer and Discharge, fused in crossover music that bears its dominance through a collection of thrash, punk and prescient death metal riffs.

Enough textural and tempo variation to choke a horse highlights the creative and serpentine songwriting which allows conflicting structures to wrap around the form of each specific lyric, which, given the tendency of these screeds to shred doubt and pessimism in human negative-feedback control structures, provides a poetry of deconstruction in a human network of subconscious aspiration to progress. In power as in delicate expression, this music presents the strength and beauty of thrash as an artform suspended between its member genres by the combination of unrelenting analysis and organic hope.

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