The 10 Best Crossover Thrash Bands

Pep Williams
Suicidal Tendencies
Today's fans of punk and metal take it for granted that the two genres often manage to intermingle -- that is to say, it isn't uncommon to spot a Black Flag T-shirt at a metal show or a Metallica T-shirt at a punk show. But during the early- to mid 1980s, such camaraderie between hardcore punk and heavy metal was non-existent, and for a period of time, the two scenes could not peacefully coexist.

As violence, hostility, fights and mayhem ensued when the fans met at shows, bands were able to use this tension and chaos to usher in a new breed (at the time) of thrash metal and punk-rock combined -- a hybrid style of music that came to be known as crossover, which bridged the gap between fans of the two styles.

Ask any one old enough to witness concerts back in the day by bands such as DRI, Anthrax, Cro Mags, Suicidal Tendencies: Many are still fighting the good fight, putting out new music and destroying audiences across the globe. Many are not letting factors such as personal health, age or finances stand in their way of bringing bring thrash punk to their fans.

This is the music that slam-dancing was made for. We now present our list of top ten crossover bands.

10. Excel From the cluster within the Venice punk skate/thrash scene, Excel was formed by guitarist Adam Siegel and vocalist Dan Clements. Their peers included Suicidal Tendencies, Cryptic Slaughter, No Mercy, Beowulf and others. Excel's thrash-metal sound soon took hold and the band played shows with bigger names in metal, including Megadeth and Overkill. Excel disbanded in 1995, but new, unreleased material was released in 2001. The band did get some notoriety when, around a decade ago, allegations were made that the Metallica hit "Enter Sandman" was indeed a ripoff of the main riffs used in the Excel song "Tapping Into The Emotional Void" from the album The Joke's on You (1989). Since then, with growing interest in the band, a new lineup featuring original singer Dan Clements has formed, and as of 2013, is beginning to play shows again.

9. Crumbsuckers Forgotten among the mainstream, Crumbsuckers was a crossover band formed in 1982 in Long Island, New York. The band played shows with everyone from Suicidal Tendencies to Pantera and Megadeth. Founded when its members were still in their teens, Crumbsuckers' skillful guitar playing was well ahead of its time. It blended punk, speed metal, rock and hints of blues to make an erratic crossover style that many bands try to mimic today. Though the band is no longer active, others have formed in its wake, including Life of Agony, Pro-Pain and more. The lasting impact of the Crumbsuckers can't be denied.

8. Attitude Adjustment This band formed in the SF Bay Area in the '80s, and fit in with the pure thrash bands of the scene, including Violence, Exodus, Forbidden, Possessed, Death Angel, Testament and more. But Attitude Adjustment added a bit more hardcore punk to its sound and approach and carved out a nice spot in the scene for itself. The violently fast drums, metal-like screams and punk-rock rage have been at a constant for going on three decades, and the band isn't slowing down.

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