The crazy history of New York hardcore pioneers Cro Mags is one that is at times triumphant and definitely tumultuous but behind all the drama that has ensued throughout their career, the music has always stood out, stood tall and lasted the test of time. The band’s album Age Of Quarrel still stands as one of the quintessential hardcore records and sounds as good when you listen to it today as it always has. Best Wishes and Alpha Omega are still brilliant as well but ensuing albums, despite displaying some of that original brilliance saw the band losing their focus a bit until they ultimately dissolved in a spate of hateful bickering.
The real focus should be on the music of course and while the musical legacy of Cro Mags is untarnished as well as unmatched, bitter legal disputes and band member animosity seemed to sour things a bit.
With all that sorted out though, the band triumphantly return with main man Harley Flanagan taking the helm again alongside a new lineup that includes former Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George and the band definitely have got their fire back.
From The Grave is three tracks of that primal New York hardcore energy that goes starlight for the jugular and it is joyous to hear the Cro Mags back doing what they do best. The opening gambit that is the title track sees Motörheads Phil Campbell guest alongside the Cro Mags and his easily recognisable guitar-shredding works perfectly with the bands muscular groove and as soon as Harley Flanagans distinctive vocal style and basslines kicks in, it feels like the real Cro Mags are back and it sounds incredible.
PTSD carries on in the same vein and it’s a shot of pure energy from start to finish, with all you would want from a Cro Mags track encapsulated within.
This shirt but sweet return from the band ends with something unexpected in the form of Between Wars, an instrumental song that features Carlos Lamont Cooper and is a stirring and sprawling track that still features that Cro Mags groove but at the same sounds completely fresh and ends things on a real high.
With this release, Cro Mags have proved without a doubt that they are back in the up again and hopefully a new full-length album from the band will be with us so times this year.
You can buy From The Grave here – https://amzn.to/2Ry6JDg
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- Interview with Night Crowned - March 3, 2020
- Review: Cro-Mags “From The Grave” [Victory Records] - January 29, 2020
- Interview: Jörgen Sandström (ex-GRAVE, ENTOMBED and more) - January 16, 2020