Right now, a whole lot of bands are mining the late-’80s moment when hardcore and speed metal came together and fused into the beautiful, violent blur of crossover thrash. Plenty of the crossover-revival bands currently walking the earth — Iron Reagan, Red Death — are absolutely fucking great. And Oxnard, California’s Dead Heat are right at the top of that mountain.
Dead Heat have been around for a couple of years; they released their debut EP in 2016. And they’ve just dropped the nine-song debut album Certain Death. Certain Death is very much within the crossover-thrash lineage, and it includes a cover of “Trapped,” a 1986 track from the Crumbsuckers, the New York band who helped to define the sound. (That’s the album-closing secret song.)
But what makes Certain Death so great is that Dead Heat don’t play it like it’s some retro genre to revive. Instead, they play it like it’s urgent and vital fight music. Certain Death works as one of the most cathartic hardcore records I’ve heard in a hot minute, and you can stream it below.
Certain Death is out now on Edgewood Records.