Wednesday 5 June 2013

Power Trip - Manifest Decimation - Album Review

Power Trip is a Crossover / Speed Metal / Thrash Metal from Dallas, Texas, USA

The members are:

Riley Gale - Vocals
Blake Ibanez - Guitar
Chris Ulsh - Drums
Nick Stewart - Guitar
Chris Whetzel - Bass

Texas is a state not known for its subtle approach. Which is a good thing, especially when it comes to metal. Power Trip is a quintet from Dallas with power, aggression and energy seeping from their music with such intensity as to rival Kerry King’s cologne. Their brand new album ‘Manifest Decimation’ is a hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners metal rampage that’ll set your speakers alight. Let’s charge on in!

Silence gives way to a rising howl of guitars, and suddenly a grenade gets let off. This is the title track of the album, and it’s a true thrash metal classic, with battering riffs reminiscent of Megadeth’s ‘Holy Wars..’ and solos so face-meltingly good you have to check to see if you eyebrows haven’t been scorched off. When ‘Heretic’s Fork’ smashes its way into your ears, the riffs erupt with a faster speed than Metallic’as ‘Kill ‘Em All’ set to warp speed. Chris Ulsh’s tremendous drumplay really shines on this track: he’s a true dynamo, not only setting a blistering pace but keeping it and even increasing it. Brilliant work, sir!

‘Conditioned to Death’ is another heart-ripping, soul-churning blast of thrash, with some licks that’d make Jeff Hanneman look down upon the earth with a smile. This album is 80’s thrash mixed with new millennium cynicism: a rather vitriolic combination indeed. As ‘Murderer’s Row’ rumbles along, it brings with it Hammett-esque solos and Hetfield-esque riffery (courtesy of the very talented duo of Nick Stewart and Blake Ibanez). The song is an electric current straight to the brain of thrash metal. All you need do is press play to get given the juice.

Chris Whetzel’s swaggering bassline leads us into ‘Crossbreaker’, Power Trip’s salute to religion. Filled with sneering vocal contempt and pulse-raising guitars, it’s another mighty showing of classic American thrash metal from the Lonestar State. ‘Drown’ is a buzzsaw track, shredding with slow but undeniable fervour and, when the solo leaps upon you, that’s when the saw hits skin and ramps the intensity up to flaying levels.

If Iron Maiden can do it, then why shouldn’t Power Trip? They too have an eponymous track and, blimey, it’s a blinder. ‘Power Trip’ doesn’t merely burst, it nuclear blasts out of your speakers, Riley Gale leading the troops in a shout-a-thon chorus that will no doubt get gigging crowds throwing themselves like human javelins into the mosh pits. Seriously, it’s a chunky, full-throttle titan that deserves to abuse your ears.

To close this album is ‘The Hammer of Doubt’, the album’s longest track. It starts with a spoken word dialogue and just a hint of anger at the edges. Then the curtain falls and the true beast is revealed: a four-legged behemoth that has broken its bonds and is hurtling straight for you. The sheer speed of Power Trip is something to behold: and ‘The Hammer of Doubt’ proves this point with a crushing purpose.

‘Manifest Decimation’ is, quite simply, a great album: a nod to the thrash titans of old, but with the drive and ambition of a new generation. Prepare your neck for whiplash.

Written by Chris Markwell

Manifest Decimation is available to buy on Southern Lord Records from June 11th 2013. Thanks to Lauren @ Rarelyunable for the hook up as ever.

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