Home Sweet Hell, Chicago based deathrash icons: Iron Cross have reissued Church And State as a remastered 20th Anniversary version, including three bonus tracks taken from their '86 Demo. This reissue includes lyrics for the original tracks, as well as band photos. Bringing bad tidings, and caustic chills of terror; these fallen angels, like so many other windy city brimming broods, mixed the intensity of Dark Angel & Possessed, with the authenticity of Metal Church & Overkill.
Iron Cross set the standard for that ominous, morose thrash; borrowing heavily from Venom, Celtic Frost, and Motörhead. Other promising cult dwellers from Chicago, like Sindrome, Devastation, & Abomination, took the reins from them, and naturally set the precedent for Usurper, Master, & Death Strike to carry the torch, blazing into the 90's. Meanwhile Detroit's Coven, and Pittsburgh's Dream Death & Doomwatch were also fashioning this new gloaming, macabre method. As I was a fan of New Renaissance bands in the mid 80's, I first discovered Dream Death, and then Indestroy, so when I listen to Iron Cross, after all of these years; I cannot help but make these comparisons.
What's fascinating about Iron Cross, is they still have a strong, Classic Metal quality to them. Although, definitely not in the vein of the Florida Death sound, save maybe Xecutioner (Pre-Obituary). I definitely hear that Morrisound vibe; especially for Nasty Savage. I would argue that the Metal Knights' own unique Wage Of Mayhem inspired the Merciless Knights' Wages Of Sin. Just listen to Beware The Innocent, and you will hear The Morgue.
Another band whom Iron Cross resemble is the Knights of Old Bridge, New Jersey, themselves - Blessed Death. Although, Jon Wiegand does not have that staccato shrill, or mordent mirror shattering cadence of Larry Portelli; but he does reach some high octane wails; especially, on Under Attack, Home Sweet Hell, M.I.A., & Minutes To Pray. I would also suggest that Arizona's own St. Madness took their cue from Iron Cross.
The Classic Metal Band Ironcross from Finland, who just remastered their first two CDs: Bloodhounds & Steel Warrior on Kathargo Records, clearly did not influence these Illinois makers of maelstrom; but the iron cross, itself was a strong image in 80's metal. Even Nuclear Assault had a song about this on The Plague EP.
In this game of fools of so many makeshift thrash pretenders
to the throne, now swarming like a bad locust uprising; sullying the
scene; it is so refreshing to hear that a band like Iron Cross are active,
and ready to reinstate the real church of fatal will; leaving the poseurs
with minutes to pray!