Review Summary: Independent release from Michigan metallers Battlecross absolutely SLAYS on all levels.
One of the things I love best about metal is the amount of diversity that one can find in the genre. Literally hundreds of variations exist to wet whatever thirst you have. I also love finding new music to listen to that is straight up, jaw droppingly well done. The 2010 independent release from Battlecross does just that. Their new album was recently released by Metal Blade, but this release is worth tracking down.
The first track is just under forty seconds of nice calm guitar work before all holy hell breaks loose with the title track. Push Pull Destroy will immediately grab you by the balls (or whatever equivalent you ladies relate to balls) and not let go. Shredding guitar is followed by a sixteen second death wail from lead vocalist Kyle ‘Gumby’ Gunther. The vocals are similar to the screaming end of ‘Trend Kill’ era Pantera, mixed with a little Chuck Schuldiner and Blitz from Overkill. Seriously, a dude named Gumby does not *** around and the vocals here absolutely shred. There are no ‘soft spots’ to be found here. This is not metal core and there are no tender vocal moments to mar this masterpiece of melodic death/thrash metal.
Still, what is a band with great vocals if they don’t have the talent and ability to back it up? Not to worry. If you’re a fan of bass actually being present in your music, this release will not disappoint. Breaking You is an excellent example of this. The bass guitar, while lying down effective rhythm with the drums is also featured as a solo instrument. Shades of Revocation are abundant here in that regard. The drumming is top notch with pounding double bass. The fills are worth of Dave Lombardo, though the drummer relies on using the bell technique on his ride cymbal a little much. It’s not overbearing but it is noticeable. The guitars are excellent and the riffs are more than enough to make any thrash fan drool.
There is a little groove metal nuance here, and you will find a few heavy bass hits, but thankfully no clichéd breakdowns to note. The recording is top notch and sounds great pounding out of the stereo. The album flows well, it’s one of the rare modern Metal albums that I can put on, listen to from end to end. This is an underground gem and I hope these guys get the kudos they deserve with the major label support behind them now. This is definitely one you need to listen to.
Tracks on repeat:
All of them, over and over again.