Whilst various eras in metal’s history are defined by a specific sound emerging, often from a specific region, the past decade can only be defined by a myriad of weird and wonderful artists emerging all around the globe to a potential worldwide audience thanks to the wonders of the internet. Within this, however, there is one style that has gone somewhat underrepresented, with artists seeming struggling to add anything to it sonically or aesthetically. This, of course, is thrash, a subgenre with a cathartically aggressive style, but which has long since passed its heyday in the ‘80s as well as its brief revival earlier this century. There are certainly exceptions to the rule in this regard, but even as a handful of bands do tinker with the blueprints, the standout thrash act of the past ten years can only be Power Trip.
The band’s 2013 debut Manifest Decimation set out their stall, its dizzying mix of thrash and hardcore proving more than enough to leave any fan of frenzied riffs salivating, but 2017 follow-up Nightmare Logic outclassed it on every level. The band saw no need to switch up their approach, instead simply trimming some fat to emerge with a leaner, meaner beast of a sophomore album. The no-holds-barred attitude remained firmly set in stone, but the execution of their desired sound was performed to a T second time around.
Nightmare Logic is dangerously vicious, its ferocity distilled by sharp but focused bursts of aggression and uncluttered arrangements. The riffs are as scorching as anything from the Bay Area’s heyday, their urgency injecting all the unbridled fun of early Metallica mixed with the pure adrenaline of the most riotous hardcore punk, and Riley Gale’s venomous vocals seem tailor-made for such a band, with them proving so full of bile that it’s hard to see how each and every gig doesn’t leave his throat torn to pieces and the mic speckled with blood. Producer Arthur Rizk, known as the guitarist of trad metal upstarts Sumerlands, remains one of the band’s greatest assets too. Known for working with the likes of Code Orange, Tomb Mold and Prurient, Rizk’s ability to capture belligerence and heaviness whilst keeping things remarkably legible remains second to none.
In a genre severely lacking worthwhile representation this decade, Power Trip were a breath of dragon fire, but for all the raucous energy, the truth is that Nightmare Logic is a remarkably inviting listen for the would-be metal fan. As much as chugging guitars, apocalyptic growls and melodramatic political doomsaying appeal to a very specific kind of music fan, it doesn’t take a slowly-built love of razor-sharp riffs to be enamoured by the fist-pumping, gang vocal-led choruses and stampeding grooves, such is their charm. Nightmare Logic is the indisputable thrash Album of the Decade, and one heck of a fun listen.
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Words: George Parr