CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER (1984–88, 1990, 2003–PRESENT). Bill Crooks (vocals/bass), Les Evans (guitar), Adam Scott (guitar), Scott Peterson (drums), and Ron Nicholson (bass).
This hardcore punk/thrash crossover band from Santa Monica formed in then mid-eighties and helped pioneer the crossover sound, blending metal with hardcore punk to help create a new sound reminiscent of bands such as DRI, Discharge, and Corrosion of Conformity. They were a rare beast in the crossover speedcore scene, bringing punk’s antiestablishment politics into the usually apolitical field of metal and influencing a whole new wave of music. The first three records, particularly Money Talks and Convicted, are ultra-fast slabs of pure aggression and well worth seeking out. However, don’t be conned into buying the Speak Your Peace album, as it is a Cryptic Slaughter record in name only, with only Evans remaining a constant from the first record and with much less compelling new vocalist Dave Hollingsworth.
After years of inactivity and a growing new legion of fans who sought out the old material, the band is apparently back together with Crooks once again on vocals, and Evans, Peterson, and Nicholson once again in the band. Although there were many contestants in the contest to blend hardcore punk and metal together into one seamless package, out of the American bands that created the new movement, Cryptic Slaughter remain one of the best.
Discography: Convicted (Restless, 1986); Money Talks (Metal Blade, 1987); Stream of Consciousness (Enigma, 1988); Speak Your Peace (Restless, 1990).