With the goal of melding 90’s grind and 80’s hardcore, members of Spazz, Municipal Waste, and Discordance Axis have joined forces as Deny The Cross. “Not another side project / super group” you say? Not so fast. I might’ve agreed with you before jumping into this one head first, but on debut LP “Alpha Ghoul” this unique collective creates head banging, floor punching magic worthy of the attention of anyone who’s ever considered themselves metal, punk or anything in between.
Marching straight into opener “Heart Like Siberia”, bassist Ramon Salcido’s slinky, bouncy bass lines are right out front, highlighting the excellent production here that has plenty of garage crunch but doesn’t lack for the clarity necessary to make every element of the presentation shine. “Bacteria Tribute” puts genuine death metal blast beats alongside the punk rock quickness, creating a catchy, crusty, ramshackle beast of a track.
An undeniably infectious riff powers “Teens In The Graveyard”, before the slow, agonizing crawl of “Gutter Kiss” brings Carlos Ramirez’s guttural, black metal inflected rasp to the fore. “Idol Cleanse” might be my favorite thing on the record, 13 seconds of the grimiest gutter punk I’ve ever heard, and “Blast Pound Strafe Stab Kill” is a self-defeating diatribe in the legendary Black Flag mold, complete with spoken word outro.
Hooky and heavy in a way that took me completely by surprise, don’t let side project fatigue keep you from checking out “Alpha Ghoul”, and Deny the Cross, please take this out on the road, guys. The trip to the chiropractor I’ll probably need afterwards with be more than worth it.
Deny The Cross’ “Alpha Ghoul” is available 7/29 from Tankcrimes.