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Thursday, March 5, 2015

The 10 Best Crossover Thrash Bands

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 5:33 AM

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7. S.O.D. (Storm Troopers of Death) This was a thrash band formed as a fun side project in 1985 by Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, along with his bandmate, drummer Charlie Benante, along with former Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker and vocalist Billy Milano. The band's uncompromising assault of punk-laced speed metal blended thrash and hardcore and made songs faster, angrier and louder than most others. Critics over the years have noted the racist, misogynistic and xenophobic lyrics, but the band has always said the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and not meant to be taken literally. S.O.D. was a central part of the East Coast wave of thrash and regional wave of crossover in the mid-1980s, and the music speaks for itself. It is unlikely the band will ever record or tour again, so fans who got the chance to witness it back in the day are lucky.

6. Carnivore Another NYC band, Carnivore was formed by the late, great Peter Steele, before Type O Negative came into existence. Only active between 1982 and 1987, the band's hardcore punk roots combine with thrash metal to create a dark and bleak vision of the future. Carnivore showcased much of Steele's sick, twisted, dark and outright disturbing sense of humor and worldviews. Though the band only released two albums, its self-titled debut (1985) and Retaliation (1987), the band has since gained a cult-like following and even reunited for a few one-off shows in the '90s, and in 2006-07 for a few European festival appearances. But Steele's tragic death in 2010 put an end to the possibility of more shows with Carnivore or Type O Negative forever.

5. Cro Mags Another staple band in the original NYC hardcore punk movement of the '80s, Cro Mags has the street credibility, fury and aggression that defines crossover. Formed when the band's members were still teenage gutter punks, its 1986 album Age of Quarrel is considered by many to be a blueprint for all crossover bands to follow. The band's original members have had a hostile, sour relationship, including a 2012 incident where founding bassist Harley Flanagan stabbed several people and was injured himself at a concert the band was playing with original vocalist John Joseph. Despite the controversy and bad blood, the Cro Mags still make music and tour.

4. Agnostic Front With an irrefutable reputation as being one of the first and toughest of the early '80s NYC hardcore punk bands, Agnostic Front was formed in 1980 by guitarist Vinnie Stigma, who would later recruit Roger Miret as the band's outspoken, tough-guy vocalist. Though initially only punk, the band's sound morphed to include more thrashy parts, and by 1986's album Cause for Alarm, the band displayed the quintessential crossover sound. Despite break-ups in the '90s and even the forming of a separate hardcore band, Madball, Agnostic Front still carries on today, with Miret and Stigma still at the helm, making new music and touring every chance they get.

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