Punk Albums For Metalheads...Or Metal Albums For Punk Rockers

Written by: Doc Godin
Published: 06.05.2011
Some people despise it, some people will even go as far as trying to deny their importance to one another. Love it or hate it, metal and punk have always shared a relationship of sorts. Hardcore crossing into thrash, the heavy riffs of Black Sabbath being incorporated into hardcore. Here is a concise list of some great albums that celebrate the blurring of lines between these two drastically different, yet simultaneously similar genres.




The Must Hear Classics...

First off, we have the albums that most have at least heard of. A great place to start growing an understanding of the different elements that make crossover...

Venom - Welcome To Hell

While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think "crossover", Venom's debut epitomizes the collision of metal and punk. It takes the top speed aggression shown in early hardcore (of which played a crucial role in the forming of early thrash), as well as the DIY feel also associated with early punk rock. Take this raw aggression, mix it with the heavier tones and darker imagery more closely associated with earlier metal. These basic components, whether intentionally combined or not, set the tone for a good majority of extreme metal to come, making this one of the most important pieces of the list.



D.O.A - Hardcore '81

Choosing amongst the founders of hardcore as to what album to throw in here, 3 names came to mind: Black Flag, Bad Brains, and of course D.O.A. While all bands played a detrimental role in the evolution of extreme music on both sides of the fence, D.O.A are considered by many to be the very first, this album being cited as the first reference of the term "Hardcore" by many. Despite setting these landmarks, Joey Shithead and his ever revolving crew of band-mates always seemed somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Bad Brains & Black Flag. Bad Brains had their own unique style of blending reggae and soul into the mix, while Black Flag drifted into music that can be considered far more metal than that of D.O.A, and gained much notoriety after the fact from the charismatic frontman Henry Rollins' other exploits. D.O.A kept it simple, sticking to their original, straight-forward hardcore. If nothing else, D.O.A and the genre defining Hardcore '81 make it onto this list for sheer consistency & timelessness.





The New Classics...

Now we move onto to a couple of albums that have not had the aged quality to be considered true classics, these are a great representatives of what crossover has to offer today. These are albums that will undoubtedly stand the test of time to be considered important pieces to the puzzle of this musical evolution.

Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation

This one was an obvious choice. In recent years the word "hardcore" amongst the metal crowd had become almost taboo; rarely did it produce decent results on any real quasi-mainstream level. The word had become more associated with preachy straight-edged, macho tough guys with shaved heads, marching around beating their chests, swinging their limbs wildly, hoping to make savage connections to someones face. Municipal Waste re-introduced the metal world to what hardcore originally was; a music with a far more primitive approach meant to destroy the gap between audience and performer. Municipal Waste manage to capture this simplicity while fusing it with a breed of top-speed, modern thrash. Not only do they capture the essence of punk rock in it's simple attack, but they write lyrics with a far more identifiable spin. This is a band that doesn't write lyrics with from any position of superiority meant to educate (in other words; preach), it simply says "Hey dude, let's party." While the choice between this or The Art Of Partying is a close call, Hazardous Mutation represents their finest balance between the two genres at hand.



Toxic Holocaust - ...An Overdose Of Death

Running parallel with Municipal Waste we have Toxic Holocaust. While Municipal Waste play a form of punk coated in metal, Toxic Holocaust play metal drenched in punk. While their punk side leans a little further away from hardcore than the 'Waste, the gritty, no-gimmicks attack which is this album still manages to display it's influences quite blatantly. The unique production work of Jack Endino was probably the wisest choice. While it's still clear enough to have a full-bodied sound, Endino's appreciation for analog equipment left it with enough earthy charm to pass off as a form of DIY.





Some Hidden Gems...

You've heard all of these other bands, experienced all the fun such simplicity has to offer? Well, now it's time to throw some at you that will certainly add to your repertoire of metal-punk crossover knowledge.

The Lurking Corpses - Smells Like The Dead
http://www.myspace.com/thelurkingcorpses/music

So we've visited a lot of hardcore, but what about punks more melodic side? ...Somewhat more melodic side. As it's probably easy to tell, The Lurking Corpses are crazy about The Misfits...and early death metal, apparently. It's a cheesy (yet thoroughly enjoyable) mix of that Danzig 50's style croonin', then switches over to some sparse, crusty old school death metal. Even King Diamond drops his influence in here and there. Funny, a bit gimmicky, but interesting no matter how you slice it.


Kill Cheerleader - All Hail
http://www.myspace.com/killcheerleader
(Warning: their myspace has fallen into severe disrepair, youtube searches will have better results. In fact, to make things easier, here is probably their most standout track.)

Now this sound is going real old school. A good way to describe this band is a teenage Motörhead playing Ramones songs. Considerably more melodic than hardcore, yet certainly nowhere as goofy as The Lurking Corpses. This album tells the entire tale of this bands short-lived career; you can definitely hear that scummy sound of desperation, a certain depressing undertone even beneath some of the more poppish, upbeat tracks which, in that aspect is quite akin to The Ramones. Needless to say, the sound makes sense when considering the wretched fate that would befall this band; most members losing interest due to severe drug abuse and one of the core members ending up in striped pyjamas. A real shame, considering this band would have gone far with Lemmy's stamp of approval, who has been cited as calling Kill Cheerleader "the greatest rock n' roll band since Guns N' Roses."

But alas there is a silver lining to every black cloud. In one of the last publicized conversations with the band (post-breakup), another key member seemed completely apathetic toward the fact that their only album was now out of print, and told people just to go download it. So if you can find All Hail on the net, you can pirate it guilt free.


Led To The Grave - Led To The Grave
http://www.myspace.com/ledtothegrave/music

Representing possibly the least sophisticated blend of metal-punk on the list, this is pure aggression. Basically it's a mix of Slayer, Skeletonwitch, and Municipal Waste. Angry sounding crossover made even angrier by the injection of black metal. Some may call it amateur, I call it a grand example of DIY appeal. Definitely a good way to end off this introductory list, as the simplicity perfectly exemplifies that of punk, and the heavy aggression of metal.





Want more? For further exploration into this blending of styles, a highly recommended source is the Metal Punk Death Squad, where you kind find a plethora of recommendations, as well as links to regional chapters.

For further reading into the more detailed account of the ongoing relationship between metal and punk, This Ain't The Summer Of Love by Steve Waksman offers a great insight to the most historically well-known bands & happenings of the early formation of the metal-punk crossover world.


 



Written on 06.05.2011 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More articles by Doc Godin ››




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Ozman - 06.05.2011 at 18:44  
All Hail is a horrible album if you ask me.
Xnoybis - 06.05.2011 at 21:12  
While a degree of thrash-rehash as lost it's luster to me, i definitely dig the two MW albums you reference.

still need to check out some DOA. i had one of their later albums on cassette back in the day, but didn't like it as much as i liked the other punk i was listening to at hte time. then again, a lot of punk bands took turns for the worse later in their career. the album they cut with Jello Biafro was amusing and good.
Doc Godin - 06.05.2011 at 23:55  
Written by Ozman on 06.05.2011 at 18:44

All Hail is a horrible album if you ask me.

What's so bad about it?
Ag Fox - 07.05.2011 at 01:04  
The cover art of All Hail certainly doesn't seem very punk
Ozman - 07.05.2011 at 01:29  
Written by Doc Godin on 06.05.2011 at 23:55

Written by Ozman on 06.05.2011 at 18:44

All Hail is a horrible album if you ask me.

What's so bad about it?


just about everything for me. Totally horrendous glam (then again I have yet to come across a good gl.am band) with some sleaze and punk thrown in which doesn't gel at all. Bad songs, totally not memorable, no power to them. Just everything I hate about glam musically.
cam - 07.05.2011 at 16:15  
Nice article. I'm not familiar with a couple of these, so I'll look in to them.

For me, D.R.I. is number one in breaching this gap, particularly with their pre-crossover material, which I still think is pretty metal.
Void Eater - 07.05.2011 at 21:40  
Lolucrazy. Anytime hardcore and metal are mentioned, one must mention D.R.I, Cro Mags, Cryptic Slaughter, Wehrmacht, and Suicidal Tendencues. Wehrmacht is sometimes called the fastest old school thrash band.
Hamird - 08.05.2011 at 20:46  
Nevermind the bullocks, here's the Sex Pistols... Metalhead or not, it's punk rock at it's very pick in my opinion..
katafakingstrofa - 09.05.2011 at 23:00  
I fucking refuse and spit on this mentioning of similarity of metal and whatever that other shit is called...........
maybe some bands have similarity but that bands will never be called metal bands... we all know which bands are those ofc !!!
disgrace off article by all standards
Xnoybis - 09.05.2011 at 23:31  
Written by katafakingstrofa on 09.05.2011 at 23:00

I fucking refuse and spit on this mentioning of similarity of metal and whatever that other shit is called...........
maybe some bands have similarity but that bands will never be called metal bands... we all know which bands are those ofc !!!
disgrace off article by all standards




hahahahahahahahaa!
Doc Godin - 09.05.2011 at 23:51  
Written by katafakingstrofa on 09.05.2011 at 23:00

I fucking refuse and spit on this mentioning of similarity of metal and whatever that other shit is called...........
maybe some bands have similarity but that bands will never be called metal bands... we all know which bands are those ofc !!!
disgrace off article by all standards

Refuse and spit on it all you want, it's not merely coincidental similarity, it's influence. Some of them yes, I'd consider punk, not metal, but quite a few on that list are actually almost perfectly 50/50 between the two genres.

Not to sound as childish and offensive as yourself, but to deny punks influence on metal is to show complete ignorance to the evolution of metal. So it's quite obvious you have absolutely no fucking clue whatsoever about what the fuck you're talking about. So either start looking into the history of the genre you're trying to defend so vehemently, or shut the fuck up.

Disgrace of a comment by all standards.
Harlequin Devon - 10.05.2011 at 01:02  
No Discharge? Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing is the perfect example of a punk album for metal fans.
Doc Godin - 10.05.2011 at 01:28  
Written by Harlequin Devon on 10.05.2011 at 01:02

No Discharge? Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing is the perfect example of a punk album for metal fans.

Without a doubt. Keep in mind this is just an introductory piece. Ones that I enjoyed and I felt like putting out there. I know for a fact that there's thousands of albums that would have been good enough for this article. I narrowed it down to 7 so I could actually go a little more in-depth into each one than I would have been able to if I came up with a big list.

Discharge ain't too bad though.
BlueMobius - 10.05.2011 at 04:05  
Check out some crust too. Bands like Damad often get overlooked.
BrokenKnuckles - 10.05.2011 at 13:43  
I think this is a great article. It really is a close line to metal and punk. I personally dont like much punk, the whole 3 chordes and the oi oi oi, dosent do it for me. But all styles on music and be influanced by other styles. Just knowing that metal came from blues or syaing without elvis there would be no metal. I alwayse like to believe that no matter what Metal would of found a way.
Death To Posers - 11.05.2011 at 02:24  
Interesting read, it's a shame that when most people think "Punk" they think of bands like Fallout boy
Lokaeda - 11.05.2011 at 11:00  
Written by katafakingstrofa on 09.05.2011 at 23:00

I fucking refuse and spit on this mentioning of similarity of metal and whatever that other shit is called...........
maybe some bands have similarity but that bands will never be called metal bands... we all know which bands are those ofc !!!
disgrace off article by all standards



Darkthrone's definitely a metal band, yet if you look at their last albums, you smell the punk. "hiking metal punks" as they say
Winterthrone - 12.05.2011 at 01:23  
While I was hoping for a more exhaustive article, the albums named here are good examples of the punk-metal/metal-punk wedding.
@katafakingstrofa: WHAT???? You do not seem like you know a lot about metal history...
Noj - 12.05.2011 at 14:53  
And nobody mentioned Amebix?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Xnoybis - 13.05.2011 at 05:17  
Written by Noj on 12.05.2011 at 14:53

And nobody mentioned Amebix?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.


it's a primer, not a comprehensive list...
Doc Godin - 13.05.2011 at 12:01  
Written by Xnoybis on 13.05.2011 at 05:17

Written by Noj on 12.05.2011 at 14:53

And nobody mentioned Amebix?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.


it's a primer, not a comprehensive list...

I've explained that. At least twice outside the article. Maybe I'll make a volume 2 eventually. Or better yet, I'll just post a giant list so everyone will be left feeling pleased.
Noj - 13.05.2011 at 14:53  
Written by Doc Godin on 13.05.2011 at 12:01

Written by Xnoybis on 13.05.2011 at 05:17

Written by Noj on 12.05.2011 at 14:53

And nobody mentioned Amebix?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.


it's a primer, not a comprehensive list...

I've explained that. At least twice outside the article. Maybe I'll make a volume 2 eventually. Or better yet, I'll just post a giant list so everyone will be left feeling pleased.


I wasn't citing the lack of mentioning them in the artcle, the article is actually pretty well done. Just everyone elses comments missing the mark!
I think to please everyone you'll end up doing a volume 787897933+
PrettyMao - 17.05.2011 at 07:14  
Pansy Division did a sweet cover of "Breakin' the Law" by the Judas Priest.

"Breakin' the law!, breakin' the law!
Breakin' the law!, the sodomy law!"
DHGgreece - 18.07.2011 at 16:00  
I want to thank te writer for giving me the chance to listen to The Lurking Corpses.
Mr. Doctor - 18.07.2011 at 16:35  
Some of the latest Darkthrone is also a good thing for both groups imo.


Now I expect some prick to come here just to post "their later albums sucks, true black metal ftw adasdasdasd".
Slayer666 - 19.07.2011 at 23:49  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 18.07.2011 at 16:35

Now I expect some prick to come here just to post "their later albums sucks, true black metal ftw adasdasdasd".

*walks in with a swagger*
That would be me, dawg.
Mr. Doctor - 20.07.2011 at 00:04  
Written by Slayer666 on 19.07.2011 at 23:49

Written by Mr. Doctor on 18.07.2011 at 16:35

Now I expect some prick to come here just to post "their later albums sucks, true black metal ftw adasdasdasd".

*walks in with a swagger*
That would be me, dawg.


I've been expecting you, Mr. Slayer666.

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