Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Released by: Southern Lord Records
Released on: February 24th, 2017.
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Dallas, Texas’ Power Trip is comprised of Riley Gale on vocals, Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart on guitar, Chris Whetzel on bass and Chris Ulsh behind the drums. With Nightmare Logic, the band’s second full length album (following 2013’s Manifest Decimation) and their second to be released by the mighty Southern Lord, we see them once again offer up some absolutely killer crossover thrash.
The first of the eight tracks on the record is Soul Sacrifice starts off with an ominous rumble that goes on for thirty seconds or so before the band proper kicks in with some Cro-Mags inspired riffing until, at the half way point, the vocals kick in and this heads straight into speed metal territory, albeit with an obvious hardcore influence working its way. It’s fucking beautiful and it sets the tone for the rest of the record in a big way. Equally fierce is Executioner’s Tax Swing Of The Axe. This isn’t as fast, but it is just as heavy, if not heavier. It’s a straight up mosh track, channeling early Exodus and maybe some Razor too, just nice and thrashy, the kind of track that gets your head banging right from the start. Gale’s vocals really shine on this one too, he sounds sincerely pissed off, and the gang vocals used in the chorus stand out here too.
Firing Squad sees the band speed things up again, this one will leave blisters on your ears, but at the same time you can’t help but appreciate how tight this band is. The twin guitar assault in this track just burns. The same qualities apply to the title track, Nightmare Logic, which re ally lets Ibanez and Stewart just go for it, while Whetzel and Ulsh provide a heavy backbone to the track. Again, Gale sounds pretty unhinged here, staying in his range but keeping completely in synch with the rest of the band and the vibe that this track puts out. Waiting Around To Die starts off heavy, kind of sludgy, then that guitar kicks in and a few seconds later it hits you at a thousand miles an hour. There’s a great breakdown here towards the end of the track that anchors it in traditional hardcore territory, but then we get the weird almost ambient playing overtop of it before it comes back to the more traditional sound… it’s strange, but in a really good way.
Ruination starts off with a crunching, plodding, doomish jam session but pulls out all the stops about ninety seconds later to blast forward with some insane wailing vocals from an even more pissed off than usual Gale guiding the ship. If Not Us Then Who keeps the intensity level cranked all the way up, slowing down just a bit towards the end but only to build atmosphere and mood – this one ends with some sort of sonic trip to Hell or something. The album closes off with Crucifixation, the only track on the record that crosses the five minute mark, but this is all killer, no filler. Riff-centric and full of some pretty wild vocals, this last track summarizes up what Power Trip do so well – hardcore/thrash/crossover played fast, right and angry.
The production here is strong too. The album sounds clean, but not too clean. The levels are right, the vocals are up front in the mix and never buried by the band, but the instruments all get equal time here, even if things are understandably guitar heavy at times. Here’s hoping Power Trip keep at it for a long time to come – absolutely killer stuff.