Battlecross Ensure Metal Is As Relevant As Ever With 'Rise To Power'
Michigan’s loudest sons are back, dragging classic metal into the modern world with ‘Rise to Power’
As Tenacious D put it, “no one can destroy the metal”. That has proven to be even truer of Thrash metal, a scene which shrank to the point where all but the most dedicated feared for its longevity in the 90’s. In the early 2000’s, the return of some of the genre’s original innovators breathed new life into the province, inspiring a host of new bands to try their hand. Fast forward to 2011, and Battlecross have just exploded onto the scene with ‘Pursuit of Honor’.
Critically acclaimed by many publications, it was easily one of the best debuts that year. Mixing more melodic elements into the music alongside some Carcass style death metal, Battlecross are seen by many as an example of the next step in the evolution of the genre. They are never clean and never pretty. Three albums later and their sonic footprint is one that promises to bring thrash metal to the next generation of fans.
‘Rise to Power’ is full on, red blooded and relentless from start to finish. The Bass is much higher in the mix than ever before granting Don Slater the space to show his considerable chops. Replete with technical riffs from and raw-throated (but repetitive in style and often lacking power) vocals, the album sound is obviously influenced by the 80’s metal scene in general. “Not Your Slave” features a solo so reminiscent of Iron Maiden that I had to check that my player hadn’t skipped and “The Path” unexpectedly becomes a Motley Crüe song near the end.
Directly emulating your musical influences can only get you so far however. Luckily, ‘Rise to Power’ has more to offer yet. “Spoiled” is a sure crowd pleaser with a great sing-along chorus. “Blood and Lies” has an acoustic intro which is the only real let up in this constant musical assault on the senses. The main riff from “Bound by Fear” is a great example of the adrenaline pumping, neck snapping quality thrash metal is known for.
Old school thrashers may not highly consider Battlecross, but their growing popularity is testament to their relevancy. ‘Rise to Power’ is convincing proof that classic metal is in good hands.
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Words by Adam Dernie