Black Cross

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Black Cross Stats
black cross logo
Record Labels: Initial Records, Auxiliary, Equal Vision, Reflections
Started By: The Patterson Bros.
Based In: Louisville
Largest show: 1,500 people
Last show: N/A
Reunion show: N/A
Number of Members: 6
Booking: Ryan Patterson

Equal Vision Press release:
Formed over the summer of 2001 in Louisville, Kentucky, Black Cross rose from the ashes of two of the city's most well known bands, By The Grace Of God and The National Acrobat. One loved for their positive, political hardcore, the other notorious for mind bending, sarcastic noisecore, the melding of the two bands seemed an unlikely union. Yet, when The National Acrobat guitarists Ryan and Evan Patterson joined By The Grace Of God singer Rob Pennington (also of Endpoint notoriety) and drummer Thommy Browne, a bond was immediately formed. United in their love of DC hardcore, a coming of age through the early 90's hardcore scene, and a desire to emphasize the aspects of hardcore and punk that they held dear, they formed Black Widows.

The result was a scorching sound that wore its influences on its sleeve - landing somewhere in the middle of Black Flag's aggressive early years, Swiz's frantic guitar work and Drive Like Jehu's mathematic noise-rock. They quickly recorded their debut CD EP, Black Widows Stops A Beating Heart, and released it on the label Ryan co-runs, Initial Records, in May 2002 (it was also released on 10" vinyl on Reflections Records from The Netherlands). They hit the road soon after, awing receptive audiences at every stop, filling a void that many had apparently desperately needed. Touching equally upon personal and political issues, Black Widows didn't just dictate a message, they attempted to communicate and share their ideas with those in attendance, joining together in their quest to find answers and take the next step in life and within the hardcore community.

Black Widows signed with Equal Vision Records in late 2002, and shortly thereafter found that another band held the rights to the name 'Black Widow(s).’ As they were completing writing the songs that would comprise their debut album, they finally decided to change their name to Black Cross, a moniker as ambiguous as it is ominous. In December 2002 they entered a Louisville recording studio with Washington DC musician and famed indie rock producer J. Robbins behind the board. Known for his musical output in the bands Burning Airlines, Jawbox and Government Issue and his recording/production of indie/emo figureheads Jets To Brazil, The Promise Ring and Braid, Black Cross chose Robbins based on his work with lesser known post-hardcore acts like Kerosene 454 and Bluetip.

The outcome is Art Offensive, a twelve song album that shows Black Cross stepping away from their collective influences and finding a voice all their own. Alternately more melodic and at times far more chaotic and destructive than their previous efforts, the songs contained within still draw inspiration from DC hardcore and arty mathrock while funneling early punk rock and even a wide variety of indie rock. It's catchy, devastating, personal, political, inspiring, foreboding, anthemic and back again, all within a scant 26 minutes.

Since the release above was written, Sean opted to "stop playing speed metal" and focus on Ten to Midnight. Since then, Metal Matt Jaha has come in to fill the drum throne. Matt lasted through a few small tours before the band took a long (almost 2 year) hiatus while Breather Resist and Coliseum toured incessantly. Black Cross played very few shows while BR and Coliseum were in town, most notably with Ganthet and Ultra Pulverize at the then-new Brick House in May 2005.

When Ryan, Evan, and David Brooks came upon the idea of having shows on the first Saturday of each month, Black Cross was ready to come forth again, but this time with Nick from BR playing bass, Evan moving to second guitar, and Forrest Kuhn (Ennui) playing drums. The new lineup exploded like a bomb that weekend, playing Louisville, Kentucky:Elizabethtown, and Indiana:Evansville.

A new full length record on Auxiliary is on the way as the band has left Equal Vision Records, and more shows will be played with new songs.

Visit their page on the web at



Lineup One (as Black Widows):

Lineup Two:

Lineup Three:

Lineup Four:

Rob 2006. By B Volz
Ryan - 2006. By B Volz
Forrest + Nick - 2006. By B Volz





  • winged Skull - revamp of the Black Widows design. Front
  • Logo - a revamp of the Black Widows logo shirt. Front
  • Chainsaw - Logo w/ elements from some famous poster artist (Richard Stuttering). also used for flyer for Thommy's last show w/ the band. Front
  • Motorcycle - band name over a motorcycle used for a show flyer Front
  • Art Offensive - Art Offensive CD shirt Front
  • Jogger - Art Offensive fleece jogger jacket. Made by Equal Vision. Front/Back
  • Art Offensive - Equal Vision's Art Offensive shirt Front/Back
  • Skate Deck - Black Cross skateboard deck! Bottom
  • tons more! Someone in the band will have to fill out the rest, it's too insane to categorize for someone else!