FROM OUR CRYPT TO YOUR CRIB – (1992 Sony promo cassette)
I used to love getting promo cassettes in the mail. Occasionally they’d just come free with my month issue of M.E.A.T Magazine, like this one did. In other cases I requested a free sampler. They were usually pretty diverse collections. From Our Crypt to Your Crib is a collection from Sony subsidiaries Relativity and Earache. Heavy stuff!
Two new Corrosion of Conformity tracks lead it off: “Dance of the Dead” and “Vote With a Bullet”. The year was 1992 and that means Karl Agell was the lead singer of C.O.C., but Pepper Keenan sang on “Vote With a Bullet”. The underrated punk/metal band were definitely more on the metal side by ’92. Both tunes are aggressive rockers with wicked solos and musicianship, but the grungy “Vote With a Bullet” sounded more current. What a riff!
Also playing musical chairs with lead singers: Sweden’s Shotgun Messiah! Original singer Zinny Zan departed and bassist Tim Skold took over the frontman position. “Heartbreak Blvd.” is a fantastic, slick example of sleazy hard rock gone right! Harry K. Cody had a good handle on writing a catchy guitar hook. Their non-wimpy ballad “Living Without You” is a snot-nosed lament rather than a goofy love song. “If there’s a tear in my eye, it’s not for you, don’t lie to yourself.”
It’s full-on punk next with Murphy’s Law and their comedic take on “Ebony & Ivory”. This pales in comparison to the true heaviness of Death with “Lack of Comprehension”. So progressive, so brutal, so ahead of its time. Their ’91 album Human was a giant evolutionary step for the genre and you can hear why on this track.
Flipping the tape over, the heaviness continues with thrash giants Exodus. It’s the live version of “Brain Dead” from Good Friendly Violent Fun. John Tempesta on drums, Steve “Zetro” Souza on vocals — primo Exodus. It’s a simply slamming affair. The metal continues with Carcass (“Incarcerated Solvent Abuse”) and holy shit is it heavy! It stomps rather than speeds…except when it goes breakneck!
Cathedral are up next with their unique brand of Sabbath-influenced metal. Gutteral Lee Dorian is the stuff of nightmares. “Condemned” by Confessor is sharp and heavy, but the high pitched “Geddy Lee on acid” vocals are offputting…if not downright hypnotic. The pendulum swings back to punk on “Over the Edge” by Agnostic Front. Asses are kicked all over the house, with precision! Finally we return to Sweden. It’s Entombed and “Living Dead”, and by now you are completely deaf, beaten and bruised.
Not bad for a free tape, eh?