CRO-MAGS - In The Beginning
Wow, it has been a long 20 years since New York's finest hardcore outfit Cro-Mags released any new music? It's hard to believe this much time has passed, but it seems like they've not lost a beat in their blistering, body slamming hardcore of the highest level.
"In The Beginning" is a full on display of the rawness, punishing, metallic, and hard hitting power that the Cro-Mag's have been known for. This 13 tracker is a back to the basics for this quartet, with a couple of soul mesmerizing tracks on offer to surprise the listener. Harley Flanagan can be heard singing on "The Final Test", but the singing aspect only adds more depth to this hard hitting cut. There is an awesome and dark sounding instrumental in the form of "Between Wars", which at times sounds so apocalyptic with it's strummed guitar passages and haunting cello interludes, courtesy of Carlos "Lamont" Cooper. However, there are elements of hardcore and metal touches to this song, as "Between Wars" conveys such seriousness and a grey mood to its overall feel.
Harley Flanagan's pissed off sounding vocals just come at you like a raging bull high on blood. The sheer angst found in his vocals along with the fat bass rhythms, explosive drumming assaults, and rabid guitar rhythms is sure to pound your body like Thor's hammer. People, this is hardcore with a punk attitude not for the faint of heart, as this shit will give you a coronary.
Lead guitarist Rocky George displays his full on shred guitar antics with a melodic touch on "One Bad Decision", which made much of his guitar playing one of the core highlights for many of Suicidal Tendencies' songs. His playing at times does remind of early Suicidal Tendencies (aka: "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, When I can't Even Smile Today" and "Lights, Camera, Revolution").
Closing track "There Was A Time" just pummels its way to your emotional state of being, creating strong feelings of victory, after being tormented in the mosh pit at a Cro-Mags gig.
Harley and rest of the band are tight, in your face, and passionately on fire to show you what the Cro-Mags are capable of unleashing musically upon your frail ears.
I must admit, "In The Beginning" did remind me a lot of New York's early hardcore days, and this aspect clearly makes it a solid winner for me.
Check it out and let the Cro-Mags rage flow throughout your arteries, driving you insane to the point of no fucking return.
Mission Two Entertainment. Sarjoo Devani