Cryptic Slaughter

Convicted

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Far more than a simple hardcore act, Southern California's Cryptic Slaughter was arguably the ultimate speedcore band. Though age, time, and experience would eventually teach them to slow things down on occasion, their 1986 debut album, Convicted, relies almost exclusively on the dizzying speed of thrash metal. In fact, younger fans listening to these tracks for the first time may hear nothing but metal (and for all intents and purposes, that's pretty much the case on select moments like "Rest in Pain" and "Rage to Kill"), but for those who were there the first time around, what they heard on Convicted was clearly the sound of two very distinct and defined musical lines beginning to blur the lines between them. For these ancient fans, speedcore staples like "M.A.D.," "Sudden Death," "State Control," and the classic "Lowlife" represented the explosive and unprecedented collision between metal and punk: impossibly technical in metallic execution, but ever dedicated to punky political rants. Racing past in one- or two-minute bursts, these enraged anti-establishment diatribes were made all the more potent by the incredible performance of bandmembers Crooks, Evans, Nicholson, and Peterson. And in retrospect, although it was clearly not as fully realized as Cryptic Slaughter's later efforts in terms of songwriting and production, Convicted's uniquely extreme onslaught remains perhaps even more important from an influence point of view. [Relapse Records' 2003 CD reissue rewards collectors to nine delightfully noisy bonus tracks: five from a demo cut in 1985 and four additional tracks recorded at a live show in Houston during 1988.]

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