Friday, July 05, 2013

Battlecross-War Of Will

Metal Blade Records

As I looked back over previous reviews I saw that I had covered the last release from Warren, Michigan act Battlecross. That album, "Pursuit of Honor", was a really good collection of traditional heavy metal/thrash metal and at the time (July of 2011) I remarked how happy I was to see a return to this kind of real metal. Since then the scenes exploded though and there are truckloads of bands playing hybrid metal (some heavy metal, thrash, speed metal and power metal all tossed together) with varying levels of success. Here, on album number three for Battlecross, death metal-inspired vocalist Kyle "Gumby" Gunther (I Decay) fronts a band that not only tackles the four genres above, but also death metal and southern metal. There's even some groove metal to be found in some of these tracks so yes, the band is stretching their wings more on their 3rd album. With Don Slater bass playing being as heavy as it's ever been and, with Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala laying down blistering solos, the band has manged to achieve a nice balance between their familiar sound and these new elements. Hired gun Shannon Lucas (All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder) brings his immense drumming skills to the party and the result is nothing short epic. He thrashes his way  from start to finish without missing a beat. That goes to the very core of what makes BattleCross so appealing in the first place. The group's core values is heavy metal first and foremost. It might be dressed up with death metal like vocals and thrashing guitars, but it's still heavy metal. Battlecross have certainly come a long way from their humble beginnings as "War Of Will" showcases. Definitely an album I've enjoyed listening to and one that I'll be returning to again soon.

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