01. M.A.D.
02. Little World
03. Sudden Death
04. Lowlife
05. Rage To Kill
06. Rest In Pain
07. Nuclear Future
08. State Of Control
09. Hypocrite
10. War To The Knife
11. Nation Of Hate
12. Black and White
13. Reich Of Torture
14. Convicted
"Life in Grave" demo 5/85
15. Flesh of the Wench
16. Necessity Supreme
17. Life in Grave
18. War to the Knife
19. Rest in Pain
"Live in Houston" - 7/6/88
20. Set Your Own Pace
21. Positively
22. Black and White
23. Lowlife

RATING: 9.5/10

As much as we here at BLABBERMOUTH.NET cannot condone gratuitous ass-kissing, Relapse deserve a sloppy smacker on the rump for getting this reissue out fifteen years after the fact.

Back when it was slightly taboo for hardcore punk and metal to be jumping into bed together, bands such as D.R.I., CRUMBSUCKERS and CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER were determinedly crossing the two genres over into a new style known as, er, crossover — bringing with this in many cases anger against Reagan's ultra-conservative government of the mid-eighties (how times change, eh). Next to D.R.I.'s "Dealing With It" and a handful of others, "Convicted" is arguably a key album from this musically rich movement.

Spewing out grindcore before the term was actually realized, "Convicted" is cynical, analytical and frenetic to the core. Opener "M.A.D." is a pointed backlash against the arms race of the time, riding on ramshackle blast beats until it all threatens to fall apart. "Rage To Kill" is probably one of the more exclusively "metal" moments, coming on like a downtrodden KREATOR or SLAYER.

For all their straight-talking and unrestrained attack, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER also unwittingly spawned an anthem in "Lowlife" — a stop-start rager that kicks off with an amusingly unusual drum tattoo, and which became the audience fave that every excitable Joe shrieked for between every song of every CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER gig. Talking of which, there's additional live stuff shoehorned in here (that is actually worth listening to), plus their classic first demo "Life In Grave".

They may have sounded as if they were progressively falling apart at the seams, but "Convicted" is brimming with energy and integrity — a bona fide must-have album therefore.


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