A lot of talent has come from the Midwest hardcore scene over the past few years. Bands like Bent Life and Expire have paved the way for new and fresh hardcore bands to rise and play all over the world. A great example of a new Midwest Blood standout is Cross Me. Formed in early 2013 and hailing from Milwaukee, WI, the quintet plays trashy, groovy and heavy hardcore. After previously releasing two records called Paid in Full and Mind Prison / Content on Flatspot Records, the band has switched record labels to release their new EP Forever Cursed on Bridge Nine. Legends Arising had the pleasure of streaming the EP in its entirety and Forever Cursed doesn’t let down.
The EP starts with ‘Cross Me’ – Instantaneously you can hear the unique blend of music styles. Cross Me combines the high-speed thrash riffs of Suicidal Tendencies, the groove of Leeway and the heaviness of Vulgar Display of Power era Pantera backed with heavy bass and drum patterns. Vocalist Tyler Murray delivers a sense of anger and weariness against the world, especially with the song ‘Cross Me’ which is about watching someone you care about suffer, and all you can do is wish for the best. The Slayer-esque backing vocals give an unreal feeling of desperation and heaviness. Cross Me have come a long way since their first demo and Forever Cursed shows off everything the band has got.
As said, Cross Me proudly shows their obvious love for thrash metal and old school hardcore. The intro of ‘Waste of Life’ combines simple yet effective palm muted riffs with mid tempo drums and a no bullshit form of in your face hardcore reminiscent of Broken Teeth. After a small break, ‘Waste of Life’ builds up to a 90’s mosh part that will have no problem sending bodies to either side of a venue while singing “you’re a fucking waste of life“. The songs ends with a ripping old school thrash metal solo that will make Kirk Hammett envious. ‘Cold’ is up next and is a slower song compared to the other three. The mid tempo guitar riffs and slow drums really make this track hard as nails. The lyrics reflect that with vocalist Tyler singing “I don’t deserve this pain you inflicted“. The track builds up to about a minute and a half and then completely grinds to a halt before ending in an open noted breakdown that is easily the heaviest part of EP.
Cross Me released a video for the final track of the EP, ‘Numb. This track is my favorite track of this record because in my opinion it displays Cross Me’s sound best. It mixes mid tempo hardcore riffs in the style of Backtrack and Terror with fast paced thrash riffs. Although ‘Numb’ is probably the most hardcore song of this album, it ends with a slow paced chugging riff that instantly reminds me of Sepultura.
Cross Me’s Forever Cursed is a great album for hardcore kids and metal heads alike and is definitely on my ‘best of’ list of 2016.The way the band flows through genres without losing that straight in your face hardcore vibe is something that not a lot of bands can do. I sincerely advise you to keep an eye out for this band and have your fingers crossed that they’ll be tearing down some stages in Europe in 2016. I know I will.
Track list – Forever Cursed:
1. Forever Cursed
2. Waste of Life
Cross Me: Facebook / Bandcamp / Order Forever Cursed
Written by Victor de Meijier