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By samdamonkey

Limp Bizkit ruined it for everyone.

Hack rap/rocker Fred Durst, among others, brought the idea of incorporating a hip-hop  style DJ into the modern band dynamic. Trend setter? I guess...but all trends aren’t good. Witness the retro/swing movement of the late 90s.

What does that have to do with Crossfade’s debut, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. Before Crossfade, there was nothingness. This isn’t meant to sound quasi-biblical. Noodling around in the Columbia, South Carolina music scene in the early 90s as The Nothingness, Crossfade didn’t find their major league groove until they opened themselves up to a musical makeover that brought them to Tony Byroads, a recently-removed Buffalo-area alum and aspiring DJ/Sampler/Vocalist.

But unlike the heavy-handedness of band scratchers DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) or DJ Homicide (Sugar Ray), Tony Byroads...gladly absent the obligatory death-infused nickname....and Crossfade’s DJ usage is subtle which is sure to make fans of legit hard rock bands who see roadies setting up the DJ booth on stage applaud.  In fact, you’d be hard to pinpoint any hip-hop sampler trappings on Crossfade’s self-titled major label release.  What you will find is a heavy metal band giving you the best they have to offer through the first phase of their early song writing process. There are some misses, but there are more hits.

“Cold,” the first release is probably the best hard rock apology since Seven Mary Three quickly burst on the alternative scene with “Cumbersome” and just as quickly  disappeared. Singer/guitarist Ed Sloan is a real singer. His voice is strong and solid. He doesn’t shy away from challenging vocal runs and interesting turns of phrase.

Defrosting into “So Far Away” Crossfade turn up the energy a notch and give a chance for drummer Brian Geiger a chance to shine within the song setting. “Crossfade’s” website and parent company are pushing the first three tracks from the album, but listeners would be left out they didn’t experience “Colors” a mid-tempo hard rock gem Trust Company would be envious of.

Uneven tracks lead into the surprising and under-rated “Disco.’ Rap/Rock meets Rage Against The Machine in this song that is sure to have live audiences hopping mad with it’s mosh chorus. 

Ed Sloan and company’s first stab at making their mark in a crowded metal scene is impressive. Like a MLB team touting their fabulous farm system only time will tell if Crossfade’s song writing prospects live up to their potential. 

CD Info 

Label: Columbia
1.) Starless
2.) Cold
3.) So Far Away
4.) Colors
5.) Death Trend Setta
6.) The Deep End
7.) No Giving Up
8.) Dead Skin
9.) Disco
10.) The Unknown
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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