(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Texas-based Power Trip.)
One of the worst offenders within the utter triteness that was the so called “re-thrash” movement was the rise of the whole crossover party thrash scene. I came to intensely dislike certain bands (who shall remain nameless) who seem to place all their emphasis on the energy and aesthetic of thrash but completely forsake all of the power, attitude, and uninhibited human rage that thrash encapsulates so well — while also having no good idea how to truly manipulate the hardcore aspects of their sound to give the music high-impact groove when needed.
Newer crossover thrash, however, has been seeing a YUGE renaissance. The newer Ringworm material, Iron Reagan (a band with Municipal Waste alumni), and the subject of this review — Power Trip — are producing music that is on a mission to recapture the genre and hit the turbo button, producing some of the most straight-up genuinely pissed metal on the planet.
Utilizing more technically inclined death/thrash and mixing it with the in-your-face attitude and the rising-tide force of NY hardcore’s groove sensibilities, Power Trip have been at the top of the thrash revival among bands who are deliberately aiming for the old school. The mix is authentically late ’80s, the riffs are really vicious, and most important of all, you can tell these guys are fucking into it.
For the unfamiliar, Power Trip basically sound like the love child of Slayer’s sense of chaos, Testament’s succinct yet nuanced riffing, Merauder’s mastery of groove, and Exhorder’s piss-and-vinegar attitude.
Nightmare Logic had me hooked from the beginning with opener “Soul Sacrifice” and its stage-setting intro, a propulsive undeniable death march of a groove with a killer riff possessing a hook and thematic presence, before the song bursts into its primary riff. Other songs like the two-step, stop-start adrenaline rush of the title track or the epic, frantic, and structurally jarring “Crucifixation” show that while Power Trip are a crossover band, they create a lot of diversity within their sound, all while producing quality pissed-off music.
This album has a lot of things going for it. The vocals are top-notch and rabid, the riffs are intricately crafted in a genre not at all known for that, the songwriting goes well beyond “really fucking fast song with cool breakdown”. If anything, I have a feeling that Power Trip may be selling themselves short. Nightmare Logic is a great adrenaline rush, but it also shows a band who might benefit from going an even more ambitious, technical, and progressive route.
Overall this is a great release, especially if you need an adrenaline rush, and not much else compares to it this year so far.
Nightmare Logic will be released by Southern Lord on February 24.