Cro-Mags subtly hinted at an ability to do great and original things with hardcore and heavy metal, but fell short of fully realising their mission with “Near Death Experience”.

Originally released in 1993, the fourth full-length from these New York bruisers is far from being their most powerful. On their prior albums, Cro-Mags subtly hinted at an ability to do great and original things with hardcore and heavy metal but fell short of fully realising their mission with “Near Death Experience”, the last record to date to feature iconic vocalist John Joseph. It takes 34 minutes for the band to spew out eight utterly uninspired tracks where they tell a story of righteous indignation and bitterness towards civilization, striking a tuneful balance between riff-led, Judas Priest style and the vocal shouts, all of this accompanied by the raw energy and the in-your-face attitude from the hardcore representatives. Nevertheless, and even though “Near Death Experience” is far from revolutionary, there are some high-class riffs and decent drum work, making of it an album that is satisfyingly enraged.

This opus, which marked the beginning of a seven-year silence between records, is now available on limited edition purple vinyl courtesy of Back On Black Records.

2.8 rating
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