A track like this only makes complete sense in this climate… absurdity, pigs, neo-fascist authoritarianism… the American dream is alive and well. Well, when the suits and white hoods screw the planet, you get this slab.” – Dave Lombardo

While I’ll try to avoid being too hyperbolic about the debut single from Dead Cross, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t at least put a case across for ‘Grave Slave’ being the most exciting release of the year so far.

The band (or rather super-group) first announced their existence in December when former Slayer drummer, Dave Lombardo recruited founding member of The Locust and Retox, Justin Pearson, and fellow Retox bandmate Michael Crain to this brand new musical project. The line up was completed with the addition of Faith No More‘s Mike Patton on vocal duties. It’s a piss-takingly impressive lineup and if the pure thought of a Slayer/Locust/Patton supergroup doesn’t get you excited, this track probably isn’t going to be your bag…

It’s totally our bag.

So, after a long five months since the initial announcement that these noisey heavyweights are getting together, we’re presented with their debut single, ‘Grave Slave’. And just like those incredibly rare occasions where Christmas manages to surpass the excitement of the lead up – this doesn’t disappoint. It’s an intense and incredibly unsettling sonic assault, or as Lombardo puts it – “’Grave Slave’ is S&M for your ears”. He’s not wrong.

So much is crammed up the ass and in the gob of the track’s sub 2-minute runtime; Lombardo is at his pummelling best, while Pearson and Crain shred, stab and wreck their way through a maze of tempo changes. However, it’s Patton who is given the opportunity to once again cement his place as metal’s (and music’s, probably) most diverse, intense, and impressive vocalists. The ease at which he moves from screechy, demonic yelps to his signature deep soulful croon will never cease to amaze.

This song is a two-minute example of what it’s like to travel through the depths of his (Patton’s) brain”, Lombardo explains, “while JP, Crain and myself commandeer the vehicle. It’s jarring, aggressive and unsettling. We’re coming at you hardcore, but leaving you with a kiss.

So sweet.

Take a listen, below.

‘Grave Slave’ simply increases what was already some intense excitement for their self-titled debut, due on August 4th (via Patton’s own Ipecac Records).

Pre-orders for Dead Cross are available now.

By Daniel W.

Vulture Hound Music Co-Editor. New music and doughnuts on the South Coast of England.