Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 6, 2019

Cro-Mags - From The Grave

It's really weird to think that in 2019 the Harley Flanagan led Cro-Mags are regularly releasing new material - but here we are with the bands second three song EP of the year. From The Grave drops today and is a fitting reminder that Cro-Mags are now and forever legends. With a level of raw intensity clearly intent on stirring up the pit, the raw sonic fury unveiled on From The Grave makes for a fun listening. This is a record that initially delivers back to the basics crossover - there's nothing shocking here - it just rips. Then they dive into an instrumental... but more on that later.

The punishing drum assault of a track like PTSD is a perfect metaphor for what this record is about. It's straightforward and aggressive, the kind of stuff that many of the bands peers lost the ability to make years ago. Cro-Mags don't seek to reinvent the wheel with the first two tracks here instead they just remind us why they were among the best to ever do it. There is a certain manic poetry to the bands delivery, the sort of living proof that we need to remember that New York Hardcore will ever die. Still - the surprisingly somber instrumental, 'Between The Wars' reminds us that the band still has creative directions to explore. After all - who would ever have expected to hear a cello on a Cro-Mags record? Here we are.

While the instrumental offering is a bit plodding, it's interesting to see the band trying to break out of the cage that they wrote themselves into. That being said - when they execute within those confines they are truly excellent. When they try to break out of it - I don't know if that's really something the fans will dig. Still it's an interesting look into a different side of the Cro-Mags approach and it certainly has me digging in deeper and trying to find out more about what the band are trying to accomplish in this next phase of their careers.

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