• 8.5/10
    DEAD CROSS - II - 8.5/10


Label: Ipecac
Release date: October 28, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Supergroup Dead Cross has released its second full-length album II on Ipecac Recordings. II is the first full-length from Mike Patton and company since their 2017 self-titled debut album. Per Ipecac Recordings, “In the time that has passed since their debut, the world has only gotten colder and harder. Mike Patton, Justin Pearson, Michael Crain, and Dave Lombardo have responded with the sound of destruction on nine tracks of Thrash Metal, Punk, and Hardcore.”

Band Bio

Dead Cross was formed in 2015 as a session band with Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), and Michael Crain (Retox) with producer Ross Robinson. The singer at the start of the project was Gabe Serbian (the Locust, Head Wound City, and ex-Retox). In 2016 Serbian left the band after recording the vocals for the debut album. In December 2016, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and Fantômas) was announced as the new singer. Patton wrote and recorded his own lyrics separately for the self-titled debut album.


II is a major progression from their self-titled debut album as Dead Cross expands their sound by creating more dynamic songs with multiple time and tempo changes. Mike Patton’s vocals are all over the place but somehow fit the mood of the song in a crazy quirky way that can be chaotic one moment, subtle the next, then in your face screaming the next. During the recording of II, Michael Crain was recovering from cancer and chemotherapy. Even though he was still sick while recording, Crain’s guitarwork shines throughout the album. Dave Lombardo’s performance shows just how talented and dynamic a drummer he really is. Justin Pearson’s bass playing and interweaving vocals round out what Dead Cross deliver’s on this nine-song roller coaster of a ride.

II opens with “Love Without Love” which can be described as a mid-tempo hardcore riffed with a slow doom-like crawl before jolting into a stomping march-like beat with thrash drumming beats towards the end of the song. “Nightclub Canary” and “Heart Reformer” are examples of how Dead Cross can mix uptempo Thrash and chaotic Metal riffs and mix subdued elements of jazz and hard rock with little effort. “Reign of Error” and “Christian Missile Crisis” take on more of a Thrash approach to the delivery of the songs.

Final Thoughts

Dead Cross’ II delivers strong production and eclectic songwriting and gets high marks as a result of it. This album will be a challenging listen for fans looking to stay within the typical boundaries of Thrash, Punk, or Hardcore. The album truly shows how Patton, Lombardo, Crain, and Pearson can meld so many musical styles and have fun doing it.


  1. Love Without Love
  2. Animal Espionage
  3. Heart Reformer
  4. Strong and Wrong
  5. Ants and Dragons
  6. Nightclub Canary
  7. Christian Missile Crisis
  8. Reign of Error
  9. Imposter Syndrome

Album Lineup

Michael Crain – guitar
Justin Pearson – bass
Dave Lombardo – drums
Mike Patton – vocals


  • Mark Zagotti

    Mark is a reviewer for Metal Express Radio since 2022. He first discovered the power of Hard Rock in 1985 as a teen when he first listened to Twisted Sister's cassette Stay Hungry. In his teen years, Mark was introduced to bands such as Kiss, Metallica, and enjoying the time that Rock and Metal ruled MTV. His first Heavy Metal concert was Clash of the Titans in 1991, where he experienced the site of a SLAYER mosh pit for the first time. Ever since that moment he has been a METAL HEAD for life. Mark's musical tastes have expanded over the years enjoying music from bands ranging from Ghost, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, the Big 4, Behemoth, and just about everything in between.    

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