The new album by Dead Cross is one twisted and interesting ride. Made during a very turbulent time not just in the world but also personally for a couple of the members. Guitarist Michael Crain was diagnosed with cancer and progressing through chemotherapy while laying down his guitar lines. Singer Mike Patton developed severe agoraphobia and a bit of a drinking problem. That though didn’t interfere with Dead Cross delivering this thought provoking and pummeling record.
Their first output was a band finding their niche within all the genres and subgenres. This new album is a lot more focused and driven to make your head explode. Dead Cross II is more than just a blast of energy. It’s subject matter and lyrical approach does make you a bit more intrigued and you tend to listen a bit closer. It’s definitely an album that grows on you with each listen. The songs are more intricate and complex than the first album and I have to say too that having Justin Pearson’s vocals on more tracks adds a bit more “charm” to the album as a whole.
Through the nine songs and 35 minutes of this album you get an onslaught of brutality but with tinges of some fun things you’ll pick up on as you listen closely. One of my favorite tracks on the record is “Christian Missle Crisis.” This one has Justin on lead vocals and DAMN, this one goes HARD! Having the different vocal takes this song to a whole other level. Yes Patton is Patton but at times it’s too much Patton and you start to crave a bit more variety and that’s what makes Justin Pearson’s vocals stand out. Plus his delivery on this song is impeccable. My other favorite song on the album is “Reign Of Error.” Once you hear this one, you’ll understand why.
One thing that’s not to be dismissed about this album is the musicianship. Michael Crain’s guitar work on this album is superb. The tones and playing are top notch. There has always been an intensity to Michael’s playing (his days in Retox come to mind) but, he definitely seems to be channeling his cancer and treatment into this one and boy, does it pack quite the punch. Dave Lombardo is crushing on this album. His versatility as a drummer is on display here and it’s awesome. Justin Pearson’s bass rips through these songs with precision and razors and his vocals!!! One more thing to add about Dead Cross II and that is the production. While the first one is a bit more “raw” this one is more focused and concise, which actually makes for a better listen through. Dead Cross II is an album for the times that is for sure. It’s got almost everything you’d want and expect from those involved in this band and when it shines it makes you want to punch through glass (in a total good way). Hooray for ). Hooray for a new and anticipated Dead Cross album. I’m sure the live show this go round (when that time comes) will be one hell of a trip!
Overall Rating: B
Christian Missle Crisis:
Reign Of Error: