Power Trip

Nightmare Logic

Written by: AP on 26/04/2017 22:59:02

With right-wing populism enjoying a worldwide resurgence through the likes of Duterte, Erdoğan, Le Pen, Orbán, Trump and Wilders and capitalism rearing its ugliest head, seldom has the feeding ground for pissed off punk and metal bands seen such bounty. Output from bands like the Dallas, TX-born Power Trip is more bitter and aggressive than ever, mirroring the backdrop of political vexation against which the two genres were set during their ‘80s heyday. The crossover troop’s latest album, “Nightmare Logic”, is a stiff middle finger aimed at the status quo, railing against corruption, injustice, religion and violence with a vengefulness that, these days, often seems lost on the old guard.

Commencing with a hostile, drop-tuned riff sourced from Slayer’s playbook, the opening track, “Soul Sacrifice”, reassures us that Power Trip is not about to innovate on the blueprint that won them such adoration on 2013’s “Manifest Decimation”. If anything, this new outing ups the ante in terms of how inimical the band can sound in their syntheses of thrash and metallic hardcore, reducing the two styles to their purest elements: intensity and vitriol. By suppressing the tone into a low register and employing a trusty arsenal of brutal chugs, blistering shreds, eerie guitar-squeals, lightning solos and single-syllable choruses, the likes of “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” and “Ruination” produce splendid fodder for reverse-capped pit warriors and denim-vested headbangers alike. There is nothing revolutionary about it, but subtleties like the raw production and a rhythm section, which favours a rough hand over machinelike precision, ensure that “Nightmare Logic” is supplied with a rare human character. And the fact that everything down to Riley Gale’s vocalisation sounds so unhinged makes the underlying indignation feel spontaneous and sincere. Indeed, “Nightmare Logic” harks back to a time when metal had real urgency and bite — when it felt dangerous and roared its call to arms. But as opposed to being merely a throwback, its outspokenness resonates just as well today, offering both the salve and the solution to present-day turmoil.

Whether they are fuming against fanatical Christians in “Crucifixation”, lashing out at social apathy in “Waiting Around to Die” or crying for revolt in “Firing Squad” however, Power Trip’s methodology is admittedly a little bit rigid. Without exception, the songs adopt some variation on a bludgeoning, mid-tempo groove, followed by an eruption of rapid-fire drums, hi-velocity shredding and a nimble-fingered guitar solo. Given that deviations from the tried-and-tested formula were not high on Power Trip’s agenda thus, one must applaud the quintet for distilling their ideas into a compact, 32-minute package and for their deft application of sequencing. Uniform though the eight blitzes may be, the album never threatens to outstay its welcome, while the bleeding of outros into intros and frequent stop/starts leave no time to blink or catch one’s breath, making for some stiflingly intense listening.

8

Download: Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe), Nightmare Logic, Ruination
For the fans of: Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Exodus, Slayer
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.02.2017
Southern Lord

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