Crossover thrash

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Crossover thrash (often abbreviated to crossover) is a fusion genre of thrash metal and hardcore punk. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and hardcore punk. Other genres on the same continuum, such as metalcore and grindcore, may overlap with crossover thrash.

Terminological ambiguity[edit]

The genre is often confused with thrashcore, which is essentially a faster hardcore punk rather than a more punk-oriented form of metal.[1][2] Throughout the early and mid 1980s, the term "thrash" was often used as a synonym for hardcore punk (as in the New York Thrash compilation of 1982). The term "thrashcore" to distinguish acts of the genre from others was not coined until at least 1993.[3] Many crossover bands, such as D.R.I.,[4] began as influential thrashcore bands.[1] The "-core" suffix of "thrashcore" is sometimes used to distinguish it from crossover thrash and thrash metal, the latter of which is often referred to simply as "thrash", which in turn is rarely used to refer to crossover thrash or thrashcore. Thrashcore is occasionally used by the music press to refer to thrash metal-inflected metalcore.[5]


Crossover thrash evolved when performers in metal began borrowing elements of hardcore punk's music. Void and their 1982 Split LP with fellow D.C. band The Faith are hailed as one of the earliest examples of hardcore/heavy metal crossover and their chaotic musical approach is often cited as particularly influential.[6][7][8] Punk-based metal bands generally evolved into the genre by developing a more technically advanced approach than the average hardcore outfit (which focused on very fast tempos and very brief songs),[9] these bands were more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore.[10]The initial contact between punk rock and heavy metal involved a "fair amount of mutual loathing. Despite their shared devotion to speed, spite, shredded attire and stomping on distortion pedals, their relationship seemed, at first, unlikely."[11]

While Motörhead explored punk in the late '70s, it was UK hardcore that drew "...inspiration from metal's volcanic heart" to create a "bludgeoning tonality and cataclysmic narratives" that "bridged the gulf" between metal and punk; the key band is "UK hardcore's most crucial band: Discharge", which from 1980 to 1983 "challenged prevailing notions of what punk was supposed to sound like, and in doing so revolutionized the prospects of metal." [11]

Especially early on, crossover thrash had a strong affinity with skate punk, but gradually became more and more the province of metal audiences. The scene gestated at a Berkeley club called Ruthie's, in 1984.[12] The term "metalcore" was originally used to refer to these crossover groups.[1]

Mike Muir, frontman of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, who are often referred to as pioneers of the genre

As Steven Blush said,

"It was natural. The most intense music, after Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, was Slayer and Metallica. Therefore, that's where everybody was going. That turned into a culture war, basically."[13]

Hardcore punk groups Corrosion of Conformity,[14][15][16][17] D.R.I.[18] and Suicidal Tendencies[19][20] played alongside thrash metal groups like Megadeth, Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament and Overkill.[21][22][23] This scene influenced the skinhead wing of New York hardcore, including crossover groups such as Cro-Mags,[24] Murphy's Law, Agnostic Front,[25] and Warzone.[26]

In 1984 New Jersey crossover group, Hogan's Heroes,[27][28][29] was formed and played alongside thrash metal groups like Destruction, Death Angel, Forbidden, and Prong.[30] In the October 1984 issue of Maximum Rocknroll, famed Metallica LP cover artist Brian "Pushead" Schroeder wrote "You ain't heard this! Blisters with speedcore franticness, mean with whining licks as it kicks into a maniac pace. Well organized melodies that cry out in terrorizing metallic thrash. While some bands are trying to be metal, English Dogs are just the dawning of speedcore!", referring to the EP To the End's of the Earth. Other prominent crossover thrash groups include Attitude Adjustment,[31] Crumbsuckers,[4] Cryptic Slaughter,[4] Discharge, Municipal Waste, Nuclear Assault, Stormtroopers of Death,[18][32][4] SSD and The Exploited.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Felix von Havoc. "Maximum Rock'n'Roll #198". Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  2. ^ "Powerviolence: The Dysfunctional Family of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrgghhh!!". Terrorizer no. 172. July 2008. p. 36-37.
  3. ^ As Max Ward writes, "625 started in 1993 in order to help out the local Bay Area thrashcore scene." Ward, Max (2000). "About 625". 625 Thrashcore. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d DiStefano, Alex (February 23, 2015). "The 10 Best Crossover Thrash Bands". LA Weekly. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Stewart Voegtlin, "Soulfly Cranks Up the Thrash and Triggers a Debacle", Village Voice, July 29, 2008. [1] Access date: July 31, 2008.
  6. ^ Burton, Brent (2011-08-30). "Two classic D.C. hardcore bands empty their vaults". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  7. ^ "Faith/Void Split". Sputnikmusic. 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  8. ^ "The Faith/Void Split LP". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  9. ^ "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control/Director Paul Rachman retraces the history of punk rock". Filmmaker Magazine. Sep 22, 2006.
  10. ^ "Hardcore And Crust". Metal Music Archives. 2011-06-05. Archived from the original on 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
  11. ^ a b Hayes, Craig (29 May 2012). "Love, and Other Indelible Stains". Pop Matters. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  12. ^ Blush, p. 115
  13. ^ Reed, Bryan C. "Corrosion of Conformity: An oral history of 30 years | Music Essay". Indy Week. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  14. ^ Blush, p. 193
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  16. ^ "Welcome to ActivePaper". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  17. ^ "Pickups.(guitar playing and recording techniques of artists and music groups)". Guitar Player. February 1, 2001.
  18. ^ a b Peter Jandreus, The Encyclopedia of Swedish Punk 1977-1987, Stockholm: Premium Publishing, 2008, p. 11.
  19. ^ Christe, Ian: Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal (2003), p. 184
  20. ^ " interview with Suicidal Tendencies". Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Corrosion Of Conformity". Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  22. ^ "D.R.I." Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "Suicidal Tendencies". Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  24. ^ "1986's Best Heavy Metal Albums". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  25. ^ Blush, p. 186
  26. ^ Blush, p. 188
  27. ^ * 1948-1999 Muze, Inc. POP Artists beginning with HOD, Phonolog, 1999, p. 1.No. 7-278B Section 207
  28. ^ * Metalcore Magazine "Forbes, Chris. Tell Us About The Crossover Scene You Were A Part Of In The Eighies, June 20, 2007". Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  29. ^ * Decolator, Paul. New Jersey. Maximum RockNRoll, July 1986, p. 41.
  30. ^ * In Effect Hardcore "Remembering Raybeez". Archived from the original on 2015-07-12. Retrieved 2015-05-27.
  31. ^ "Attitude Adjustment". Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  32. ^ "Anthrax Trying To Find Their Voice; Plus Danzig, Children Of Bodom & More News That Rules, In Metal File". Retrieved 18 January 2018.