Battlecross, the band that exploded during 2012 after being added to many good metal tours and even performing recently on Metallica’s Orion Festival has a new album coming out and it’s filled with many many more thrash-tastic riffs at spectacular speeds and melodic attacks with Gumby’s rash vocals just reminds me of when I first saw them live. Just a great time, great music and that feeling of “Wow, these guys are damn good”. The atmosphere these guys create is wonderful and they are trying to capture that feeling once again with “War of Will”. Do they capture it?
Yes and No. Of course, I bet most of these tracks sound friggin amazing live when hair is everywhere and the guys are on stage thrashing about, but the sound on this album is a little weak and the songs are good, just lacking substance. The songs just aren’t that catchy. Maybe the production is off a little or maybe it’s their tone, but something just sounds a little dull. With that said, the album still gives plenty to the listener. It’s a constant pummel of metal and fury, and you must absolutely headbang. You have no choice, the groove of it all will force you to headbang.
This band thrives on fast guitar riffs, double bass drum work and Gumby’s Dragonborn vocals. His howl and the reverb on it on some sections just creates a monstrous sound. Tony and Hiran’s guitar work is phenomenal. After a few more listens I picked up more and more parts that were just terrific. Just simply metal. This album grows on you. The pace is fast, the intensity is turned up and Battlecross’ new album does not disappoint. It’s thrash meets the melodic American wave of music that hit the metal scene 10 years ago. I hear Slayer, I hear God Forbid and I also hear some Lamb of God influence on this album. However, turn the tempo up on that style and you have Battlecross.
Tony and Hiran are as fun to listen to as they are fun to watch on stage. They create incredibly heavy metal riffs and seem to just enjoy themselves more so than any other musician on the planet. Kyle (Gumby) Gunther’s vocals are just BEAST. From his higher screeching howls to his mid-low roars, he has the best of both worlds and delivers his mighty vocal work unto the listener on “War of Will”. Don Slater’s bass work is audible, crushingly powerful and you can hear him tear it up here and there. He doesn’t get much time to shine other than that. However, if you focus on his bass work, you can hear how good of a player he truly is. Drumming on this album was brought to you by Shannon Lucas and he absolutely tears up the kit throughout the album. Providing galloping, blasting and groove the band needed on this album. Lucas’ performance is very well done. Together, they created one hell of a modern day thrash album. Packed with melody, homicidal leads, crushing rhythm and some of the best vocals I’ve heard this year, Battlecross’ “War of Will” is a must listen to.
3.5 out of 5
(Fav songs: Get Over It, Wage a War, Beast & Never-Ending Night)