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Metal with a message - 100%

SleepingFinger, July 28th, 2010

Cryptic Slaughter is a bit of an overlooked band. They played a very unique type of metal called crossover thrash, and they were very good at it. They were definitely one of the fastest bands in the L.A. metal scene and left every other band back in the dust. They are also one of the earliest bands to perfect the blast beat. Was Cryptic Slaughter an influence on Napalm Death? You bet!

The production is pretty good and helps the audibility of the band. The guitars are thrashy and punkish at the same time and are usually very fast, they're also pretty heavy. There's some guitar solos here but not really an abundance like on a thrash metal album. The drumming can be slower and rythmic when it has to be but it usually sounds like a machine gun at the speed that it's going. Bill Crooks is much more of a screamer than a singer, but his extreme vocals fit this type of music. His voice is quite screechy and hoarse and is not suitable for everyone, but those of you that don't mind that type of vocal style may like Bill Crooks' vocals, I personally like his vocals. He actually has some similarities to the singer for Jerry's Kids. The bass isn't very audible so I can't really talk about that. The overall sound here is pretty heavy.

Let's talk about the songs themselves. Most of the songs have similar song structures so I'll try my best to point out the distinguishable characteristics of the songs. There are some slower songs, but most of these songs are lighting fast with social/political messages. "Money Talks" is a good example of some very fast social/political metal, there are a few mid paced breakdowns thrown in though. "Could Be Worse", "All Wrong", and "Wake Up" are also good examples of this. "Freedom Of Expression" is a more mid paced song and the name of the song is exactly what the song is about, and it features a bluesy yet metallic guitar solo in the middle of the song. "Menace Of Mankind" features a similar solo. "Too Much, Too Little" has an odd intro and Bill even acknowledges it by saying "Psyche!" before the song becomes normal. Most of these songs are around a minute and a half to two minutes long so the album isn't too long. "American Heros" and "Could Be Worse" are the longest songs here and they're both closing in on four minutes long. "American Hero" actually has some of the slowest parts on the album, but it too has speedy parts as well.

This is a very good metal album but I wouldn't reccomend this to any metal fan. Some metalheads may find this too noisy and chaotic, but this guitar driven chaos is very influential stuff. But if you like extremely fast, politically charged metal then this is right up your alley. This here is some great metal.