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Important, enjoyable but slightly too long - 89%

morbert, October 24th, 2008

Yes, here we have a very influencial D.R.I. release. It’s not my favorite one but it really was their most memorable one in terms of importance and consequences. Infamous obviously for the term ‘crossover’ but it is of course highly debatable if this was the truly the first album in this style.

Some state the honour must go to S.O.D., being two years earlier when D.R.I. were still playing SSDecontrol and Negative Approach influenced furious hardcore punk with only a tiny hint of metal in some riffs. In any case S.O.D. were metal musicians and D.R.I. a hardcore punk group at first. They both were extremely important by growing towards eachother and I myself thank both for it. And I don’t want to ignore all the others like Suicidal, C.O.C. etc etc obviously nor what was happening in the U.K. as well with bands such as Antisect.

Whoever was first, D.R.I. were and are one of the most famous crossover bands and not without a reason. They wrote some damn good tunes back in the day although from this album on the band would develop the tendency to make a lot of songs way too long which pretty much damaged most of their next three studio albums. Here on ‘Crossover’ they’re still able to contain that negative aspect save a few misses. It works though on opener “The Five Year Plan” which, despite its length, is briliant and energetic from start to finish and also one of the best songs on this album because of the variation, catchy vocal lines, good riffs and over all fast pace.

Fortunately most of this album is still filled with short(er), fast and to-the-point compositions from which “A Coffin”, “Hooked”, “Go Die” and “No Religion” are the catchiest as well as the best. But as said it’s overstretched songs like “Decisions”, “Probation” and “Oblivion” dragging this album down a bit but we’re talking only three tunes here so no man overboard.

Retrospectively this album also is the best balance between D.R.I.’s their later ‘grown-up’ polished albums and their early raging hardcore punk releases. So even in that case the album is D.R.I.’s perfect crossover.

And Crossover Thrash was Born - 90%

DawnoftheShred, December 1st, 2006

D.R.I. not only invented the crossover genre's sound, but they also invented its name. The aptly named Crossover is the first of the band's album that is noticibly more thrash metal than hardcore punk, and a powerful addition to the collections of either genres fans.

The first signs of thrash metal influence come in the riffs. Though there's still some all out destructive high speed punk riffage, there's a lot of sweet metal riffs mixed in to sweeten the deal. "Tear it Down" and "Hooked" are prime examples of this new found metalness. The songs have also gotten longer to accommodate the stylistic changes. Though there's some speed-core numbers, most of the songs are now standard length. As for the songs' musical quality, I can't really complain with any of them. The production is solid but still somewhat raw, the band plays amazingly well, and the lyrics are still kick-ass.

Though a lot of the punk influence would fade into pure thrash later on, this album maintains the best qualities of both. It's a solid but varied release that puts a new spin on the legendary D.R.I. formula, a spin that would soon become historic. Enjoy.

A Heavy Hitter in the Crossover Realm - 90%

corviderrant, September 24th, 2004

For you youngsters out there who think crap like Hatebreed is hardcore, let me point you in *this* direction. This album has a ballsy title, whether by intent or not, because DRI were one of the first bands to exemplify what we old timers called "crossover" alongside the Cro-Mags and their classic "Age of Quarrel" debut.

From their roots of incredibly short, sharp jolts of electro-shock thrash that often were less than a minute (or even 4 seconds) long that got them tagged the "fastest band in the world" in the early 80s, this is what they matured into as they quickly learned to play tighter and better. And I mean matured in a good way, since this album features a perfect blend of what made DRI special in these days: catchy choruses and riffs, a careful blend of punk attitude (Kurt Brecht's angry ranting and screaming--the man admits he's tone deaf, for Pete's sake!) and old school hardcore fury, and intelligent, socially-aware lyrics combined with metal's heaviness and power and dynamics. Yes, dynamics on a DRI album!

Opener "5-Year Plan" has a classic starting riff that grabs you right away and gets you banging and screaming along with "I lose, you win, I lose you win, I lose, you win, I lose AGAIN!" and the slam pit busts loose around you as the tempo roars into hardcore thrash mania! "But you're on my 5-YEAR PLAN!!!" is all the warning you get, and from then on, it's longhairs out of the pit! Remember, in those days it was a very recent thing that longhairs were trying to learn the art of slamdancing and would more often than not get their asses whipped at a hardcore show!

"Tear It Down" is more punk-like and has a great screamalong chorus for those days you hate everyone and just want everyone to die (also reference "Go Die" for this). "Probation" has a cool slow intro and then zooms into overdrive again with Josh Pappe's fierce, tight bass riff hooking you in like a prize salmon. Again, "Go Die!" is a tune you want to crank at the end of a really bad day. "Decisions" is Kurt basically saying "Look, I can't make all your decisions for you, make up your own mind!", in his inimitable nettled fashion--he is nothing if not straightforward in his lyrics, he leaves little to the imagination. I ike him for that, he simply says what's on his mind and leaves it at that.

The production is the best they'd had at the time, with thick guitars and an audible bass with both clarity and low end, loud, crashing drums, and Kurt's yelling riding clearly over it all. He sincerely sounds like a regular guy getting pissed off and losing his temper over the nonsense he sees around him every day, and this is his appeal, unlike the average metalcore vocalist who simply sounds pretentiously overwrought with all the growling and screaming they do. Metalcore these days is far too sluggish and pretentious anyway, it has seriously lost touch with bands like DRI who are the real deal as it concerns itself more with crafting the same old beatdown parts than energy and aggression. Get this and understand what it's all about!