Like it or not, we are in for a bombardment of music lashing out against the current political climate and the expected results of those who run the world. While we don’t have an official anti-Trump record yet, since it’s a little too early for that, there has been music that very well could have been influenced by the run-up to the 2016 election and the fear of what might result.
Power Trip aren’t really noted as being an overly political band, but their brand of crossover thrash certainly is terrain made up of bands of that ilk. Yet here we are, with the band’s massive second record “Nightmare Logic,” and the Dallas-based group finally are sharpening their claws and drawing blood based on what’s going on around us. On this great eight-track effort, the follow-up to killer 2013 debut “Manifest Decimation,” the band—vocalist Riley Gale, guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart, bassist Chris Whetzel, and drummer Chris Ulsh—blasts and smashes over 32:48, creating some of their heaviest and most channeled music to this point. Lyrically, there is plenty to rake our leaders over the coals, from right wing oppression to the pharmaceutical industry evils that thwart people fighting addiction, so there’s meat in which to dig your teeth and get yourself equally aggravated and frustrated.
“Soul Sacrifice” begins the record in a haze of noise and static before the first wave of heavy thrashing arrives. Wild howls are dealt, while the pace punishes. Soloing ignites and blinds, while the final moments trudge dangerously and fade away. “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” begins chugging, with Gale noting our destroyer is “sharpening his axe,” as heavy riffs pile on top of one another. Gang-shouted vocals pound you on the chorus, while howls of, “Swing of the ax,” deliver the final blows. “Firing Squad” is speedy, with the vocals spat out, and the band devastates the ground beneath you. The band changes pace halfway through the song, pulling you in the opposite direction, while soloing scorches, and the cut gallops to a hard finish. “Nightmare Logic” trudges all over, with raspy shouts and metallic guitar lines leading the way. The band slips into a filthy thrash groove, while the guitars light up, the tempo builds, and you’re treated to one final blast before the lights go out.
“Waiting Around to Die” simmers in synth weirdness at the start before it melts down and sprays shrapnel. “I can’t fucking stand it!” Gale shouts before the guitar playing takes over the exerts its dominance. “You’re got to fight to be free,” a statement never as relevant as right now, quakes you, with the song coming to a thunderous conclusion. “Ruination” is a blistering assault that speeds up and stomps, with the band barreling full speed ahead. “Watch the whole world burn!” Gale blasts, as the music behind him sounds like he’s doing just that. “If Not Us Then Who” is a punchy call to arms, a track that has strains of Suicidal Tendencies and Anthrax and that’s a blast to hear but also holds within it a warning. It’s a killer track that chews up space and fades out in noise. Closer “Crucifixion” is a punch back to those who revel in blind faith and cause harm to those who don’t follow the same orders. “Don’t care what you think you know,” Gale howls, as the band backs him with a vicious storm of thrash, and the track heads into the same noise haze that greeted us at the front of the record.
Power Trip are the cream of the crop of modern crossover thrash bands, and their smashing second effort “Nightmare Logic” provides even more fuel for their already raging fire. The vitriolic message and the violent assault of their music gets inside your bloodstream and should make anyone who hears it ready to ask more questions of those who run the world. This is a strong, thunderous record that should prove even more vital as we work our way through the next four years.
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