Known for being a collaborative chameleon, Faith No More‘s Mike Patton has been a part of all sorts of side projects over the years. Working with the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, forming Tomahawk and now the man’s latest chapter is solidified with another hero from the Metal world. One of Metal’s true drumming favourites, Dave Lombardo, the man responsible for every Metalhead’s gateway record, the Satan conjuring Reign In Blood bands together with The Locust’s Michael Crain and Justin Pearson to form Dead Cross.
As you might expect Patton’s signature vocal style is brought to the forefront here. With all manner of splutterings that are put forward in his whimsical semi psychotic delivery. “Divine Filth” for example hearing the babbling reach its zenith complimented by skronking guitars to create a serious racket. Combining elements of Punk with the harsh guitar work, riffs allude to that spit in the face of authority style whilst Lombardo remains perfectly in the pocket. Unmistakable for anyone else, the man’s style of drumming is imprinted on the album. Making for groove sections to have a real sense of movement whilst the more Thrash oriented elements to really kick it up a notch. The furious “Idiopathic” sits well in the Thrash vein and plays to Lombardo’s strengths.
The defined guitar lines of “Shillelagh” definitely root themselves in the likes of Hardcore / Punk coupled with Patton’s semi carnival bizarre style vocal lines however give it a very odd overtone. At just under half an hour (like Reign In Blood, coincidence?) the album doesn’t even get to overstay its welcome, working in a brilliant fashion, making the listener come back for more. Guitarist Michael Crain also does a fantastic job of creating jarring riffs that jab the listener throughout “The Future Has Been Cancelled” one such example. Yet just as experimental is “Church of The Motherfuckers” following a mute bass line, akin to a more Industrial sound. Despite the amalgamation of talent here, of course there are moments where each members influence shines through the band really get things going when the cohesive nature comes through making something entirely different to what any of the members might have created individually.
My one small gripe would be the production quality. At times the record can be unfairly quiet not giving instruments enough room sounding flat gives a lacklustre element to the ideas that the band are trying to portray. Despite this small niggle however, the record itself is a solid release of pure bucolic mayhem. Perhaps a placebo effect from knowing Lombardo for his Thrash roots but the Thrash influence is undeniable in the record. A vehement concoction of dissonance that would no doubt tickle any Metalhead’s fancy with some truly shining moments. You can certainly believe the hype.
Dead Cross’ album is out August 4th via Ipecac Records.