Long before the practice of combining hardcore punk and thrash metal became commonplace, there were The Cro-Mags. The New York hardcore band is often credited with giving birth to the musical genre of "crossover thrash" or "metalcore" (depending on whom you're asking) with the 1986 release of their classic debut album, The Age of Quarrel. It was on that record that the band had its best-known lineup: John Joseph on vocals, Harley Flanagan on bass, Parris Mayhew on guitar, and Mackie Jayson on drums. Ultimately, internal conflict led Joseph to leave the band and Flanagan to take on double duty as bassist and vocalist on their follow-up album, Best Wishes. It would not be the band's final lineup, however. Far from it, actually. But despite the countless personnel changes, the group still has managed to tour and release new albums. Along the way, The Cro-Mags have built a cult-like fan base with shows at the legendary CBGB as well as on national tours with the likes of Motörhead and Megadeth. Following the release of Before the Quarrel in 2000, Flanagan left The Cro-Mags to start Harley's War. Since then, original Cro-Mags singer Joseph has returned to the group and is leading the band on tour and exposing new fans to what true New York hardcore is all about.
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