"Synthetic Division" (Artemis; 2001)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs


"Synthetic Division" marks the debut release of Tampa's Crossbreed. Artemis Records snagged these guys as per the recommendation of fellow Artemis artist "Kittie" who saw them perform at a radio gig.

As potent as Crossbreed's musical package is, their image is obvious.  A group of glowing little men wearing fiber optic jumpsuits on stage that play off the trippy rave scene vibe complete with radioactive inked glowing tattoos.  Granted, it might be a bit of an image overdose but musically these guys don't only glow, they destroy.

"Synthetic Division" opens with track "Severed" and the immediate comparison is that Crossbreed was everything Korn was circa "Shoots and Ladders."  Had this album been released seven years ago it would have been considered relatively original.  But since it was released in May of 2001 it will have to settle for being relatively familiar but still blunt in Crossbreed's own terms.  And what are those terms?  Metal, industrial rock, techno fusions that play off of and harbor the force from each genre.

Certain tracks such as "Pure Energy" and "Regretful Times" played off of the industrial/techno vibes a bit more while "Concentrate" and "Machines" had more of a cold metal edge.  But even more interesting than the musical melding were the lyrical contributions that rival the creativeness of Al Jourgensen or fellow Floridian Marilyn Manson. What is it with Florida and harboring such angry little men? 

Crossbreed's overall intense package is one well worth multiple spins for any fan of a mind tripping on the border of acid induced musical adventure.  Fans of electronica trips quite simply must have "Synthetic Division."

Crossbreed is: Flip (keyboards), Travis Simpkins (drums), Charlie Parker (bass), James Rietz (vocals), DJ Izzo (keys), Chris Nemzek (guitar). 

Official Web site:

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.