Battlecross are not a band that minces words musically. If the lengths of their last album and their latest are anything to go by, which are roughly 37 minutes and 36 minutes respectively, then it would seem that their tolerance for anything that isn’t absolutely killer is quite low. Rise to Power is a living, breathing testament to that low tolerance level. It is a lean, mean, ass-kicking machine that doesn’t want to quit kicking your ass until there’s nothing left for it to kick. There’s no pageantry or gimmicks to be found here, only driving, satisfying music.
The band have sharpened their compositions to the point that they cut through anything and everything that isn’t necessary. Their mix of thrash and death metal elements leaves very little room for anything that isn’t exactly what they want to communicate to the listener. Every song on this record is a force to be reckoned with. Whether the band are laying down riffs that will have you banging your head until your neck is broken or melodic sections that will bring an extra wet tear to your eye, something is always there to reaffirm just why the listener is there in the first place. The percussion isn’t slacking, either. They keep up the pace effortlessly and add color to the tracks, but then again, it’s not surprising that in a band so heavily influenced by thrash the drums would be something that were paid special attention to.
Though every song is solid, there are standouts that would definitely be the songs to suggest to someone who’s thinking of checking out this record. “Not Your Slave” has bouncy riffing that sees the band locking into more than a few meaty grooves throughout the song. Then you have “Blood and Lies”, which opens with a foreboding acoustic guitar arrangement that leads into an all out aural assault that culminates in a down, dirty and muddy breakdown. Album closer “The Path” hits hardest, however, with a somber acoustic intro leading into riffs that feel like they were forged by the gods themselves. It’s also home to the best breakdown on the entire LP. When it hits, it will have you playing air guitar and tapping your foot simultaneously. It’s a great closer to the album that leaves you feeling just as enthused as when the opener “Scars” began.
The song “Bound by Fear” has the golden line, “In this game that we all play, you must win or die.” This line serves as both Rise to Power‘s mantra and the bands personal mission statement. The only roads open to Battlecross are complete failure or complete dominance. There is no in-between for them, which makes their hunger for victory nearly insatiable. It keeps the band striving for the tightest, most lean product they can possibly distribute. With this album, the band have taken their intolerance for bullshit to the next level, making it well known that nothing will stop them as they set out to accomplish their goal to make music that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go.
Battlecross’ Rise to Power gets…