Album of the Day

ALBUM OF THE DAY: CRO-MAGS, ALPHA OMEGA

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New York’s Cro-Mags are best known for two arguably unimpeachable hardcore classics, 1986’s seminal The Age of Quarrel and its far more metallic 1989 follow-up Best Wishes. Constantly in conflict, the Krishna-conscious lineup remained in flux so much that the group has never managed to have the same line-up on any album, so much so that when original frontman John Joseph returned for 1992’s Alpha Omega, it was only after guitarist Parris Mayhew left following a falling out with bassist Harley Flanagan.

Cro Mags Alpha OmegaDrama aside, Alpha Omega is an album of its time with a sound not dissimilar from that of early-90s Biohazard. Released on Century Media, the record features Joseph actually singing, something that might surprise those only familiar with the barks and shouts of the first record. Highlights include single “The Paths Of Perfection” (video above) and the scratch-laden rap metal cut “Eyes Of Tomorrow.” Others who played on played on the record include drummer Dave DiCenso of Shelter and Doug Holland of Kraut. This renewed Flanagan-Joseph collaboration would yield one more record 1993’s Near Death Experience before imploding.

In what has become an end-of-year NYHC tradition, the current Cro-Mags incarnation–featuring Joseph and Age Of Quarrel-era drummer Mackie Jayson along with Leeway’s AJ Novello and Sick Of It All’s Craig Setari–play New York’s Highline Ballroom on December 30th, with openers Supertouch, Subzero, and Sai Nam. Tickets are on sale. Don’t expect to hear anything off this record, though.

-GS

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